Transnet kicks off staff audits to check if lifestyles are 'in line with known income'

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A Transnet wagon on the line between Sishen and Saldanha.
A Transnet wagon on the line between Sishen and Saldanha.
Transnet

State-owned rail and ports operator Transnet says it has started to institute lifestyle audits for senior employees to verify if their lifestyles are "in line with their known income".

The audits will serve as a governance tool to improve transparency and prevent conflicts of interest, said Transnet in a statement. 

The group said the audits would be independent and confidential. Where "discrepancies" are identified, staff will be given an opportunity to provide additional information or clarification before any further action is taken. The audits will initially focus on senior staff to "set the tone". 

"[The audits] will be rolled out over time, prioritising functions such as procurement, IT and security. Employees are required to submit forms declaring - among others - their assets, credit history as well as those of their immediate family members, and a declaration of their interests," the group said. 

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive thus far, with over 90% of employees submitting themselves to the process. This attests to the fact that the majority of us support and treasure an environment where the primary motive of all employees is to acting the interests of Transnet and South Africa."

Cleaning up governance at state-owned entities has been one of the key promises that President Cyril Ramaphosa made after assuming office, following a cascade of governance failures and mismanagement.

Transnet has featured prominently at the ongoing judicial inquiry into state capture. Testifying in May last year, Transnet chairperson Popo Molefe said former Transnet executives Brian Molefe, Siyabonga Gama and Anoj Singh were the "architects of capture". 

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