Cape Town – Transnet Group CEO Siyabonga Gama told Fin24 that he welcomed the arrival of Popo Molefe as the new chair of the utility’s interim board.
Gama was speaking to Fin24 on the sidelines of Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan’s briefing ahead of his department’s budget vote in Parliament’s National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday evening South Africa learned that Molefe would be making his way to Transnet. Molefe said he would take an “unflinching stance” against corruption at the entity.
He however said he is not going there assuming there is any wrongdoing as this would be “unfair”.
Among other things, Transnet has been embroiled in a storm related to contracts with global software giant SAP and the Gupta-owned CAD House, in which the former reportedly paid R90m to access business with parastatals.
Garry Pita resigned as Transnet CFO in April under a cloud emanating from a decision to explore his predecessor Anoj Singh’s decision to award major contracts to Neotel without going to tender first.
Gama said Molefe’s arrival at Transnet would serve greatly to restore much needed confidence to the entity, as Molefe’s experience on other utility boards spoke for itself.
“We welcome Mr Molefe coming into Transnet. He is a seasoned member of the board and has served on several boards. We will be able to go through many different issues facing Transnet today,” Gama said.
Gama said he would work with Molefe to familiarise him with the state of play at the utility. He said it was important that Molefe understood that the current leadership of Transnet had turned the tide on governance failures which previously occurred.
“Hopefully he will also put the correct perspective forward in terms of the state of Transnet. It would be helpful to assist the South African public to understand that whatever may have happened in the past in Transnet is no longer happening and has been stopped some time ago,” said Gama.
Gama said the reputation of Transnet had to be protected as many of the challenges that dogged the utility in the past had been addressed.
“We will continue to find ways to ensure that the reputation and sanctity of the organisation can be restored. In the market place people must understand the strength of the brand and know that we are able to restore that going forward,” he said.