(Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Dean Vivier)
In an updated operation for the year through late March, Transnet said its revenue increased 1.6% to Rs 68.3 billion, while profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 22.1% to 23.8 billion rupees.
The company said it was helped by improved oil and container volumes, however its rail freight business struggled.
The number of locomotives in Transnet Freight Rail’s fleet has decreased by 25% since 2018, from 2,215 to 1,656 locomotives.
“The ability to access spare parts of some locomotives was jeopardized by the 1 064 overhaul application and thus affected the reliability and availability of the locomotives,” said Transnet.
Transnet and the Special Investigating Unit have initiated legal proceedings against the Chinese Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) for the irregular purchase of 1,064 locomotives at the height of the state capture in South Africa.
An interim order issued by the Special Court – charged with recovering public funds stolen from corruption – served to freeze R4.2 billion of bank accounts linked to CRRC.
Meanwhile, the Chinese company has refused to supply Transnet with specialized spare parts for Transnet’s locomotives.
On Friday, Transnet said it is moving forward with negotiations with the company “that could conclude a lengthy litigation and allow for the rehabilitation of the locomotives and security of supply.”
Transnet said around 15.7 million tonnes of freight volumes were lost in the current year as a direct consequence of the unavailability of locomotives in the north corridor alone.
The North Corridor moves coal from the heart of Mpumalanga to Richards Bay Coal Terminal and is Transnet’s most profitable line in export markets.
Its rail service was also affected by cable theft and infrastructure vandalism.
“While much progress has been made in curbing the theft of fuel from the pipeline, more than 1,000 kilometers of cable have been stolen from our rail operations. This involved spending over Rs. 1.6 billion for security and about Rs. 400 million for replacement of stolen cables, with operational disruptions causing an estimated loss of revenue of Rs.1.9 billion in severance pay alone. ” .