2nd Transnet force majeure: Time Minister Gordhan came out of hiding – Ghaleb Cachalia

DA MP says latest incident followed a fire at the Richards Bay port

2nd Transnet force majeure: Time Minister Gordhan came out of hiding

19 October 2021

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP.

The DA calls on the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, to come out of hiding and do his job. We understand that Transnet is not one of his vanity projects like SAA, but the ongoing failures at the Richards Bay Bulk Terminal have reached crisis point.

Not only has Transnet declared a force majeure at its port in Richards Bay following a fire on 13 October 2021, but this is the second time it’s happened in two months. The first cause for major concern was the cyberattack that disrupted operations and caused extensive damage to equipment and information.

Transnet’s decline has been on the cards for many years given the ANC government’s refusal to invest in infrastructure and competent management, populating the State-owned enterprise (SOE) instead with captured cadres who treated it like their personal piggy-bank.

The decline of Transnet’s ports – now ranked among the worst in the world – has played a significant role in the country’s economic deterioration. This newest setback will only deepen the economic fall-out putting even more livelihoods at risk.

The fact that Minister Gordhan has yet to utter a single word regarding this crisis – nevermind actually coming up with a plan to turn the ship around – shows the ANC government’s complete disregard for the millions of jobs dependent on well-functioning ports. If shipping companies decide to permanently move operations to neighbouring ports to the detriment of South Africa, the ANC government and Minister Gordhan would be to blame. Their lax attitude and aversion to finding and implementing solutions is what caused the crisis and allows it to continue to be mismanaged. The neglect of the economic spine of the country cannot continue unabated.

Issued by Ghaleb Cachalia, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 19 October 2021