The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), an opposition party in South Africa, has condemned the government’s planned privatisation of Transnet.
Transnet SOC Ltd is a public company with the South African Government as the sole shareholder. It owns South Africa’s railway, ports and pipeline infrastructure.
The Group Chief Executive of Transnet announced Wednesday that there are plans for the entity to hand over to private companies the responsibility of running its container corridor between Johannesburg and eThekwini for the next 20 years.
The announcement did not sit well with the Julius Malema-led EFF. In a statement seen by Pindula News, EFF said the privatisation of Transnet would have a negative bearing on the general populace. Reads the statement issued on Thursday, 16 February 2023:
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) condemns the nefarious plan by government to privatize Transnet. During a presentation at the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on Wednesday, the 15th of February, the Group Chief Executive of Transnet outlined plans for the entity to hand over to private companies the responsibility of running its container corridor between Johannesburg and eThekwini for the next 20 years.
This is purportedly to help its container corridors function optimally, because the entity itself has failed to perform and fulfil its mandate.
The entity reported to Parliament that it has gone out to seek private sector partners who are interested in entering into an operating lease agreement with Transnet, for the operations of the container corridor. These private sector partners will then be responsible for the full operations of the container corridors between City Deep to Durban, including the terminals of City Deep, Kascon and Bayhead.
The benefits of this to the private sector will be immense as they will practically be in charge of the entire container corridor.
The management of Transnet was not forthcoming about the implications of this to the current workers of Transnet working in these corridors, nor did they outline plans beyond the 20 years. This is nothing but an attempt at handing over key resources of the State to the private sector, as this has been a key focus of the Ramaphpsa administration.
No effort is spared at hallowing out strategic State-Owned Enterprises. This is done by manufacturing a crisis, and then going to hand over these institutions to the private sector. There is every reason to believe that the ultimate goal is to privatize the whole institution.
In the same presentation yesterday, Transnet management also reported the challenges they have with the maintenance of their locomotives, and with the general deterioration of infrastructure. They reported that they lost 550% tons of cargo due to the man-made challenges that could have been avoided. The management did not even once take responsibility for this mess. It must take no one as surprise therefore when Transnet announces in a not-too-distant future that they will also be privatizing the operations of their locomotives.
Transnet is a public company mandated to ensure a globally competitive freight system that should underpin growth and diversification of our economy. They have now decided by themselves to abandon this mission and hand over key aspects of their mandate to the greedy private sector partners who have been key to propping up the corrupt and utterly useless regime of Cyril Ramaphosa.
The EFF will oppose this on all available avenues, but ultimately, the only people who can put an end to this hallowing out of the State are the voters themselves.
In less than no time, the privatisation of Eskom will lead to the massive job losses seen at the South African Post Office, and it is this sale of the nations assets that will destroy the future of this country. Ramaphosa’s regime is characterised by a destruction of SOE’s, which is why the EFF encourages all members of society to join the National Shutdown on the 20th of March 2023, to defend our assets and call for the resignation of Cyril Ramaphosa.
The ruing party has a pact with capital, and they are now shamelessly handing over to white capital every single important institution of the State. We must defend our entities on the picket lines and ensure they do not succeed in stripping South Africa of its sovereignty.