Gupta-linked Chinese firm wanted R5bn local content exemption

Johannesburg - China South Rail (CSR), the company that allegedly paid R5bn in bribes to the Guptas, has asked the South African government for exemptions on its local content commitments worth R5bn.

News24 is reporting that CRRC, which was formed when CSR and fellow Chinese rail giant China North Rail (CNR) merged, submitted a request to the department of trade and industry (DTI) for exemptions worth R5bn on locally sources components for new locomotives it is supplying to Transnet. 

The DTI rejected the company’s request. 

CSR’s application for the exemptions follows on earlier reports from the #GupaLeaks that detailed how alleged kickbacks worth more than R5bn were due to be channeled from CSR’s Transnet contracts to Gupta-linked companies abroad. 

The company says the reports from the leaked emails remain "untested allegations", and that it remains committed to achieving its local content targets. 

The DTI said it rejected CSR’s application with a recommendation that the Chinese manufacturer "intensifies its effort to find suitable local suppliers to locally manufacture and supply the required components in the bid to reduce the import[ed] content."

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