Fri, 28 Feb 2020

State-owned freight rail company Transnet has hit back at reports that conflict with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan lies at the heart of a delay in appointing a permanent Chief Executive Officer.

Transnet has not appointed a permanent CEO six months after it conducted interviews for the position.

The entity released a statement on Wednesday morning after City Press reported on Monday that there was a disagreement between it and Gordhan over who would be the most suitable candidate.

City Press reported that the Transnet board named Development Bank of South Africa CEO Patrick Dlamini as its preferred candidate, followed by former Transnet executive Simo Lushaba; but that former public enterprises director-general Portia Molefe had been put forward as a third option after initial interviews had been conducted. Gordhan denied interfering at Transnet.

The Transnet statement, issued by Transnet chair Popo Molefe, said there was no stand-off between the minister and Transnet board over candidates for the position of CEO. According to Molefe, the process is simply ongoing.

"The Transnet board of directors would like to categorically state that there is no conflict between itself and the shareholder Minister Pravin Gordhan on the pending appointment of the Chief Executive Officer as purported by the media," said the statement.

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The statement added that the appointment had not been yet finalised and that the Transnet board had already set out the recruitment process to find a Group Chief Executive for Transnet in May 2019.

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