Transnet posts loss

Aug 27, 2004
Author: P&S

The entire management board of Transnet has been swept away and replaced at today’s annual results meeting held in Johannesburg (Friday 27 August 2004).

Transnet is the government-owned transport holding company with responsibility for South Africa’s ports, railways, pipelines and South African Airways (SAA) as well as several other companies.

Maria Ramos, who succeeded as Transnet chief executive in January, announced a consolidated group loss of R6.3Bn. The main factor for the poor result was a massive hedging loss of R5.9Bn registered by South African Airways (SAA). Earlier this year the airline was regarded as technically insolvent but the government subsequently stepped in with additional financing.

Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin said at the results meeting that SAA was to be separated from Transnet although it would remain owned by government.

Transnet star performers were the National Ports Authority, SA Port Operations, and the rail operator Spoornet, all of which posted considerable profits. Ramos acknowledged that the entire organisation remained plagued by ageing infrastructure and decades of under-investment, which she said was being addressed, but despite this the ports and railways had performed well.

She said that Spoornet would be restructured vertically by splitting into separate operational and infrastructure divisions following the successful division of South Africa’s ports into port operating and port authority divisions.

Erwin repeated statements made earlier this month that further announcements on the involvement of private partnerships in port operations would be made known later this year.

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