Tau Morwe took over the reins at the scandal-ridden SOE, Transnet, just one month ago, on 5th November 2019. I was fortunate enough to attend his first “Roadshow” in Cape Town this last Wednesday, and I am extremely impressed at the speed at which he is turning things around at the beleaguered parastatal. His dynamic and spirited vision prevail and his new broom is sweeping up a great big mess.

The logistics, freight rail, port company’s Board has been revamped and there are new COOs, CEOs and various other Os in place at all the operating companies within Transnet., The new ‘O’ team is extremely competent and embracing the Acting CEO’s vision for a transparent company. They are prepared to listen to, amongst many other things, the grievances that companies using the SOE’s facilities have encountered. For example, the problems surrounding the Robinson Drydock and the Syncrolift are now being attended to, as indeed are the tenancy/ lease agreements that in the past have proffered unrealistically short leases. Then there is the dilemma facing TFR – notably its inexplicably long lead times to transport products from A to B, the challenged timetable and the financially burdened balance sheet. .

These are just a few of the immediate problems that TNPA, TPT and TFR are facing. There will of course be many more hurdles that the operating companies will have to jump at the “Roadshows”, which are being held in in Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban and Richards Bay over the next few weeks and months.

Maersk Container at Port of Cape Town
Maersk Container at Port of Cape Town

What’s also very refreshing is that Transet is now prepared to engage with the media. The new Transnet understands the importance of dialogue and communicating, and ultimately working with the private sector to the benefit of both parties. Gone are the days of ‘our way or no way’, gone are the days of smoke and mirrors, and soon gone will be the days of corruption within. No more money will be transferred to Dubai and for those people who facilitated in the looting of Transnet, accountability will be the order of the day. In fact, the plan is get the money back to where it belongs so that Tau Morwe and his team can more easily implement a 20 year plan for the SOE.

My only concern is who will take over from TM in May 2019 when his 6 month tenure is over? But I am quietly confident that his dynamic and super-efficient team will have weedled out all of the rotten apples and will have embraced his vision for a healthy company of the people, a company that will win back the confidence of both the public and corporate world, and at the same time hopefully be part of what will make South Africa great again.