Gordhan thanks Molefe for his service

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has thanked Popo Molefe for his contribution to Transnet, following his resignation from the state-owned freight and logistics company’s board.

He resigned from the board after serving for five years.

He was appointed as board chairperson in 2018 but was replaced by Andile Sangqu in July this year.

Molefe’s resignation comes barely two weeks after the announcement of the resignations of Group Chief Executive (GCE) Portia Derby and Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Nonkululeko Dlamini from the company.

“Mr Molefe and his board of directors have been at the forefront of our unrelenting push to reclaim Transnet from vested interests and state capture. We wish him well in his future endeavours and thank him for heeding the call to serve our country,” Gordhan said.

The department in its statement said Molefe’s resignation is due to personal reasons.

“The stepping down of Mr Molefe…must not be misconstrued or interpreted as being in any way related to the recent developments at the company,” the department said.

Meanwhile, Transnet has developed a turnaround plan for the company and expects to submit this to the department this coming week.

“The turnaround plan outlines operational and financial initiatives which must be implemented in the next six, twelve and eighteen months to stabilise the business and position the company for growth.

“The turnaround plan is predicated on several detailed goals to reform and strengthen the operational state of the freight rail division in particular, and with priorities of key elements, specifically the rail corridors that service key sectors of the economy,” Transnet said.

According to Transnet, the plan is premised on principles which include:

The balancing of the financial stability and the operational performance of the business.

Improved utilisation and care for operational assets and infrastructure.

Improved integration and operation execution across operating divisions.

Improved employee engagement and visible management at operations.

The development of a deeper accountability framework.

Cost reduction measures, cashflow and working capital improvements.

Continuous engagement and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including organised labour, customers, funders, government and industry.

“The board has prioritised the filling of the three executive positions in the business, with the recruitment process having commenced this past week. The recruitment process is being prioritised for urgent finalisation, given the criticality of these positions to the organisation, and the lead role the incumbents will play in execution of the turnaround plan.

“The board also continues to work closely and collaboratively with stakeholders, including the National Logistics Crisis Committee,” Transnet said.

Transnet will meet with government this week to finalise the plan.

“[The] representative of the board will meet next week with the Shareholder Ministry as well as the Ministry of Finance to discuss the operational and financial details of the business turnaround plan, including areas which require immediate Government support.

“Once approved by the Shareholder and funding commitment is secured, the plan will be discussed with key stakeholders such as organised labour, employees, customers and lenders,” Transnet said.

Source: South African Government News Agency