Transnet's golden handshake for former executives draws ire of Satawu

Transnet's golden handshake for former executives draws ire of Satawu

Johannesburg - One of Cosatu’s affiliates has slammed state-owned transport, freight and logistics company Transnet’s decision to pay over R24 million to two former executives - despite their having been suspended earlier this year.
Ravi Nair, former Transnet Freight Rail chief executive, and former group chief operations officer Mlamuli Buthelezi were paid R12.5m and R11.5m respectively when they resigned from the entity, following their suspensions in March this year.

Transnet has described the payments as a “settlement in respect of service termination, included in other payments,” according to its annual financial statements for the 2018/19 financial year.

This is on top of Buthelezi’s annual salary of over R5.2m and R806 000 for Nair in the 12 months that ended on March 31.

The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), which organises at Transnet’s various divisions, expressed shock at the payments to the two.

Satawu general secretary Jack Mazibuko said on Wednesday that the information on the payments to the pair was never disclosed to the union when they met Transnet’s acting chief executive, Mohammed Mahomedy, at the organisation’s head office in Midrand, Joburg, two weeks ago.

“Had we been aware, we would have raised our concerns at that meeting and taken the company to task,” Mazibuko said.

He said at the general meeting attended by Satawu, Transnet’s other recognised union, the United National Transport Union, and non-unionised workers, they were told auditors had raised concerns about fruitless and wasteful, as well as irregular, expenditure at the entity.

Irregular expenditure stood at R58.5 billion in 2018/19, which Transnet has reported as significant due to the expected inclusion of the R41.5bn expenditure on the purchase of 1064, 95 and 100 locomotives that have been the subject of several investigations.

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure was reported to be R484m.

According to Mazibuko, workers were told no incentives would be paid due to Transnet’s poor performance.

Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe was approached for comment, but had not responded by print deadline.

Political Bureau