The United National Transport Union (UNTU) welcomes the assurance by Government that Transnet’s restructuring is aimed at restoring the legacy of state capture, fixing the infrastructure, modernising equipment, and creating jobs, but without privatising the state-owned enterprise (SOE).
It has been difficult months of uncertainty about the future for Transnet employees after the unexpected announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that Government intends to establish Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) as an independent subsidiary of Transnet.
Steve Harris, General Secretary of the United National Transport Union (UNTU), says these concerns were put to rest after the undertaking by the various key role players in Transnet to the media that Unions will be consulted, the process will be transparent, and workers will get a fair deal.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Popo Molefe, Chairman of the Board of Transnet, and Portia Derby, Chief Executive Officer of Transnet, was clear that there will be no privatisation, but that all assets will continue to resort under Transnet.
“Partnerships with stake holders, including the Unions, are critical,” says Gordhan.
Molefe explained that the invite to the private sector to participate in Transnet is aimed at unlocking opportunities to attract investment to rehabilitate the SOE’s ailing infrastructure.
According to Gordhan the public has a good idea of how gravely Transnet was impacted during the decade of state capture thanks to the evidence in front of the Zondo Commission.
The harsh reality is that South Africa and specifically also Transnet, has been downgraded many times. This makes funding of the projects Transnet needs to embark on difficult and expensive. Transnet does not have the balance sheet to sustain the investment of R100 billion needed over the next decade.
Gordhan said the massive investment is aimed at creating job opportunities, especially also for young workers in line with Government’s plan to reform and reposition all SOE’s.
Derby confirmed to the media that the Unions will get their own advisor to guide them independently in the restructuring process.
According to Harris UNTU, the majority Union in Transnet, is committed to the growth and improved capacity of the SOE because it is in the best interest of its workers.
“UNTU will leave no stone unturned to protect the rights of existing employees who has built Transnet to where it is today and to ensure that the Transnet of the future is even more successful and can create more jobs,” says Harris.
For more information phone Harris on 082 566 5516.