Business collaborating with government to fix some of the problems that we face as a country can work.
Executive director of Business Leadership South Africa, Busi Mavuso, underscores this in an opinion piece we published yesterday.
Mavuso is hopeful about the outcomes of a meeting between herself, the president and several cabinet ministers, saying there is resolve to commit to working in partnership to deal with the priority issues that need attention.
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Mavuso refers, inter alia, to the urgency that exists to fix Transnet, and anyone who drives between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on the N3 will agree.
We need to increase freight volumes on trains to get the trucks off the roads.
The call to fix Transnet is especially valid seeing as the entity’s CEO Portia Derby resigned last Friday after calls from the Association of South African Chambers for the Transnet board to go following the release of its dire 2023 financials which show that Transnet reported a loss of R5,7 billion.
Mesela Kope-Nhlapo, CEO of the African Rail Industry Association (Aria), said this shows that Transnet is under deep duress, adding that the urgent need for private-sector investment to arrest the decline is evident.
Business is willing to come to the party but they need assurance, said Mavuso, that there is clear progress and evidence that their support is having a material impact on the business environment.
The National Logistics Crisis Committee, a joint initiative between the private sector and officials from the Presidency, are looking at ways to revive Transnet operations.
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This is sorely needed.
Imagine if every time there was a shutdown on the N3, the logistics industry was not affected because goods were being transported on trains away from the criminals who block highways and loot and burn trucks.
There are many reasons why government needs to work hard to uplift Transnet.
Fortunately, business is willing to help.