State – owned freight rail and port group Transnet says it plans to approach the courts to have a number of controversial contracts for the procurement of 1 064 locomotives – that together amount to R54 billion – declared unlawful and set aside.
The contracts for the new engines, which were meant to upgrade Transnet’s ageing fleet, have been plagued by allegations of fraud, irregularities and kickbacks. The estimated total cost for the locomotives has ballooned from R38,6 billion in 2013 to R54,5 billion.
How and why costs increased by 41 percent has been a key focus in the ongoing judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.
Transnet on Tuesday, in a statement, said the transactions had been found to be “irregular and unlawful” and contributed to R41,5 billion in irregular expenditure in its 2018/19 financial statements.
From 2013 onward, Transnet entered into a number of contracts to procure locomotives from four Original Equipment Manufacturers: General Electric, Bombardier Transportation, China North Rail (CNR) and China South Rail (CSR). — Fin24.com.