South Africa

Transnet execs paid R87 million despite R5.7 billion loss

Transnet CEO Portia Derby

Transnet’s top executives earned a combined R87 million over the last year, with CEO Portia Derby leading the pack with an R8.5 million salary.

This was revealed in Transnet’s annual results for the year ended 31 March 2023, released on Friday, 1 September 2023.

The South African rail, port, and pipeline company has unique assets worth an estimated R364 billion, which are nearly impossible to replicate.

It includes a 30,400 km railway network, 3,800 km pipeline infrastructure, eight commercial ports, 16 cargo terminals, and 1,854 operational locomotives.

Despite its impressive assets and a monopoly in many areas where it operates, the company faces severe operational and financial challenges.

Its rail infrastructure is collapsing, its ports are a major hindrance to exports, and its 50,364 employees do not have the necessary skills to operate the logistics giant.

The company’s latest annual financial report revealed how dire the situation has become.

Despite a slight increase in revenue to R68.9 billion, Transnet swung from a R5.0 billion profit to a R5.7 billion loss.

The main reason for the loss was a significant decline in fair value adjustments – from R10.2 billion in 2022 to R1.6 billion in 2023.

There was also an impairment and devaluation of non-financial assets of R4.5 billion, significantly higher than last year’s R2.1 billion.

Transnet tried to put a positive spin on its results, saying it improved in certain areas despite operational challenges and the current economic climate. 

However, it could not talk away the poor performance of its rail business, which experienced decreased locomotive availability and increased cable theft and infrastructure vandalism.

Rail volumes decreased by 13.6% due to these challenges, which was behind an EBITDA decrease of 2.1% to R23.0 billion.

Transnet executive pay

Despite not receiving any long-term or short-term incentives, the Transnet executive team was still paid a combined R87 million over the last year.

Transnet CEO Portia Derby received a salary package of R8.5 million, while Transnet Freight Rail CEO Sizakele Mzimela received R6.1 million.

The fifteen other members of the Transnet executive team earned between R4 million and R6 million per year.

The table below shows the Transnet executive salaries for the last financial year.


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