State-owned port, freight rail and logistics company, Transnet has reported a R5.7 billion loss as rail volumes continue to decline.
Presenting the group financial results for the year ended March 2023, CEO Portia Derby says locomotives unavailability, cable theft and derailment continue to pose operational challenges for the utility.
Derby says more than 300 locomotives are currently out of service due to the current impasse with the manufacturer the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation.
According to Derby this has resulted in a 13% decline in rail volumes.
She says a deal which has now been reached to return 70 locomotives to service by end of this current financial year.
Meanwhile, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says it’s now up to South Africa to ensure that the impasse between Transnet and the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation is resolved.
The Chinese Railway company withdrew its services after it was implicated in the state-capture report over its multi-billion rand contract to supply Transnet with new locomotives.
This has resulted in Transnet being unable to secure spares for over 300 of its locomotives.
Gordhan says the visit to China and the recent visit by Chinese President have helped to resolve the tension.
” We had a very constructive discussion with the leadership of CRRC. It’s on the SA side that we need to speed us certain processes that will help us to, A get the spare parts, B get the technicians and some visas have already been arranged and C there are some 99 locomotives outstanding and there was a delivery arrangement. Some for end of the year, some towards the beginning of next year which will further provide relief.”