Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry has accepted the terms of reference for its inquiry into State-owned enterprise Transnet’s R50-billion locomotive contract.
Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow Trade and Industry Minister Dean Macpherson said on Wednesday that the inquiry needed to reveal exactly how the contract was awarded, as none of the China South Rail (CSR) locomotives were built in South Africa, despite local content obligations.
CSR won the tender to supply 359 locomotives to Transnet in 2014 and according to an agreement, Gupta-linked Tequestra Group was contracted by CSR as a consultant, and would have received a 21% stake of every deal gained by CSR.
“This inquiry must get to the bottom of exactly how this contract was awarded and how it was that the law was contravened in order to avoid producing the trains in South Africa, therefore depriving our people of vital jobs,” said Macpherson.
As per the inquiry, Transnet will now have to hand over all documents related to the deal.
Macpherson said cost-inflation added to deals such as these directly hindered local manufacturers’ abilities to contribute to the build and he likened this deal to the arms deal.
“There can be no doubt that Transnet has become ground zero for the Guptas to loot and steal resources without consequence. We are glad that the committee has now decided to move forward after the DA first called for this matter to be investigated in July 2017,” he said.