Portia Derby is new Transnet CEO

Portia Derby (Supplied)
Portia Derby (Supplied)

Portia Derby has been appointed as group chief executive of Transnet, it was announced on Friday.

Derby is the former wife of Brian Molefe, former Eskom CEO and a former Transnet CEO.

According to a statement the Minister of Public Enterprises approved the recommendation for her appointment made by the Transnet board. Cabinet gave its approval on Friday.

Derby is a former director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises, which has Transnet as one of the state-owned entities it oversees.

"She will work with the board, management team, workers, unions and other stakeholders to rebuild an institution that was severely affected by state capture and large-scale corruption," the offical statement of the DPE reads.

"Transnet is one of the central entities in our efforts to revive the economy and simultaneously effect deep and meaningful reforms that will be felt by ordinary citizens and businesses as well."

Fin24 reported last week that Transnet had hit back at reports that conflict with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan lies at the heart of a delay in appointing a permanent CEO.

Transnet had not appointed a permanent CEO six months after it conducted interviews for the position.

Also last week, the Zondo Commission heard that Transnet paid millions to sponsor an insert in the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper back in 2012, and the deal cannot be justified.

Briefing the commission – which has been investigating allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud at state entities since August 2018 – Transnet's internal communications specialist Joseph Jackson provided evidence on the deal which would see Transnet sponsor the "Big Interview" insert in the newspaper.

Then-group CEO Molefe had ultimately approved the deal on February 23, 2012. Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo's was frank in his view on the deal, saying: "Transnet was just robbed."

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