Cape Town - Transnet is working on a strategy to be less reliant on mines and diversify into oil and gas and fast-moving consumer goods, said the state-owned entity’s CEO Siyabonga Gama.
Gama was one of six CEOs who attended a media briefing called by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to answer questions about her department’s budget vote.
He said Transnet was also affected by the meltdown in commodity prices.
“A number of mining houses have put their capital expansion programmes on hold, as it’s not feasible to open new months. They’ll reconsider the situation once commodity prices start increasing again.”
Some of Transnet’s spending has been deferred, Gama said. “What we would have spent over a seven-year period will now be done over 10 years.”
Asked about Transnet’s maintenance plan, he said the state-owned company has “upped the game” since 2012. “Some R45bn of our R340bn spending is going towards railway maintenance.”
According to him, South Africa has 30 000km of rail and an additional 8 000km is added every year. “Our rail has never been in a better position than now,” Gama said. “Within 10 years we would have refreshed the entire system with new overhead cables and signalling systems.”
He said he couldn’t comment on the state of trains in the metropolitan areas, because that was the domain of the Passenger Rail Agency South Africa (Prasa).