South Africa

Treasury weighs cash injection for struggling Transnet

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana

South Africa’s National Treasury is considering whether a cash injection is needed to fully fix state port and rail company Transnet, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said.

Derailments, equipment shortages, vandalism, corruption and poor weather have hobbled Transnet’s operations. That’s prompted companies to cut thousands of jobs to reduce costs as commodities pile up at warehouses and ports.

The Treasury agreed last month to provide a R47 billion support package to the company, making about half of the amount accessible to meet immediate debt obligations.       

What’s needed to fix Transnet — which has a R130 billion debt pile — and improve its logistics network “will inform whether we do the injection or not,” Godongwana told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday at a pre-World Economic Forum briefing. “We’re still doing the numbers.”

Inefficiencies at Transnet have resulted in deliveries from coal mines on the company’s rail network to the nation’s main coal export terminal dropping to the lowest level in three decades.

Ports have become clogged with vessels, partly due to extreme weather that’s damaged equipment.

“We need logistics to work because it’s quite critical for the economy,” Godongwana said.


Top JSE indices