Transnet taken to the woodshed for lax vetting of employees

Siyabonga Gama CEO Transnet Freight Rail JHB.
gama - Siyabonga Gama CEO Transnet Freight Rail JHB.
Image: Robert Tshabalala

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts roundly chided leadership of Transnet for failing to adequately explain why less than 10% of the staff employed at its supply chain management are vetted with the State Security Agency.

The committee met with Transnet in Parliament on Tuesday morning to discuss matters including the entity’s procurement guideline deviation applications‚ the scope expansion of various projects and the accruals which Transnet incurred.

However‚ when these matters were postponed for a later meeting‚ the committee asked about the compliance of Transnet staff with the vetting requirements expected of employees in procurement and supply chain management divisions.

Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama admitted to the department that after three years of attempting to resolve the issue‚ only 56 of the entity’s 750 staff involved with procurement and supply chain management had submitted their information for vetting.

Gama said the entity’s leadership would meet with the State Security Agency to determine the progress of the vetting process and what was expected of Transnet. He assured the committee that Transnet was an organ of state and did not want to be seen flouting the law when it came to procurement.

In recent parliamentary meetings parastatals‚ including Transnet and Eskom‚ were among state entities and departments that flooded the office of the chief procurement officer with deviation requests running into the billions in 2016-’17.

This comes after acting chief procurement officer Willie Mathebula is said to be heading a bid to undo the regulation that compels state entities and departments to seek permission from National Treasury if they want to deviate from normal tender processes.

 

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