Mashishi: why I sold my shares

2011-02-19 18:13

Former sports chief Moss Mashishi has defended his decision to sell a substantial stake of his BEE company’s shares in the Gauteng
open-road toll project to Austrian conglomerate Kapsch.

The former South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president’s Matemeku Investments became the main BEE shareholder in the project through its 51% ownership of TMT Services and Supplies – the South African partner in the Electronic Toll Collections (ETC) joint venture.

But early last year, after the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) awarded the R6.2-billion tender for the design and operation of the
e-toll system to ETC, Mashishi and the other shareholders of TMT sold 57% of the company to Kapsch for more than R70?million.

“The rationale for the transaction was informed by two strategic objectives: the first was to facilitate a significant foreign direct investment in a medium-sized South African company,” Mashishi said this week.

“As a consequence, TMT has been sufficiently capitalised not only to create and sustain jobs but also to maximise opportunities in its core business.

“Secondly, Kapsch’s footprint provides TMT with a strategic platform to export South African-developed transport intelligence technology products globally.”

Mashishi is TMT’s chairperson and the company is headed by Douglas Davey, a traffic specialist, civil engineer and Cape Town’s former head of traffic systems.

Davey told City Press that TMT has provided services to more than 30 government departments, including the City of Johannesburg.

This includes a R175-million tender awarded by the city in September last year for an automatic fare collections system on buses.

After selling their shares to Kapsch, three employees from the European firm were appointed to the board of TMT.

TMT was criticised in 2008 by the Mcebisi Skwatsha faction in the Western Cape ANC after being awarded a R35-million tender by the province for an integrated ticketing system for taxis.

The company was accused of being run by whites, with Mashishi’s company only a passive shareholder.

Mashishi denied this, saying Matemeku had been involved for more than seven years in the “strategic management” of the company.

“We generally leave the day-to-day operation to experts within our investment companies,” he said.

Mashishi disputed that 85% of profits from the project would go abroad, saying South African subcontractors would also benefit.

IT company Gijima was awarded an R80-million tender by ETC to provide?technological infrastructure.

Sanral told City Press the project would create 1 100 jobs for South Africans.

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