Traditionally, Transnet has been perceived as an organisation that is averse to partnering with the private sector in projects. But, certainly, economic realities have forced it to break the mould.
After realising that years of going it alone have only resulted into high costs and low efficiency, in a landmark U-turn Transnet has opened its arms to private sector investment.
Transnet Freight Rail CEO, Siyabonga Gama, briefed a group of journalists during the media dinner which the parastatal hosted. He said it was only realistic that the organisation could only achieve its objectives through private sector involvement. “The private sector is sitting on a pile of cash and we would like to leverage that,” he said, disclosing that Transet would invest R312 billion over the next seven years.
Critics might call it overambitious, but Transnet aims to become one of the world’s top five railway systems. As part of this plan, it implemented its Market Demand Strategy in 2012 to shift its capital expenditure focus over seven years from maintenance expenditure to expansionary investments on rail and port projects across South Africa.