Derailed by Transnet
As a recently retired director with 38 years in the heavy engineering manufacturing and service industry in South Africa, I believed I – and many others – could be of service to Transnet.
I’m still very active and had some empathy for Ms Ramos’s challenges, as many years ago South African Railways had funded my degree in engineering and I worked there for a number of years.
The point I made in the letter (delivered by hand) including a comprehensive CV to Transnet was that no matter how balance sheets are restructured, pension funds surpluses reallocated and the many changes to executives, the future of Transnet will be made or broken, based on whether it can provide an efficient, cost competitive transport system with reliable equipment and quality service.
I received a reply from somebody whose name did not appear on the letter and whose signature was illegible saying my letter and CV had been passed on to two named employees and I would be contacted. Surprise! Nothing happened, so after three weeks I decided to call. The letter from Transnet had no telephone number on it. After finding the correct number, it took 20 calls before I got to speak to one of the employees named in their letter. On six attempts the phone was not answered and the balance of the 19 unsuccessful calls resulted in some disembodied voice requesting I leave a message. On the single occasion that I spoke to one of the persons mentioned in the letter, I was fobbed off saying they had no record of my correspondence.
Having been involved with a company doing rebuilding and refurbishing of the Metro Rail fleet over the past few years, I can assure you that the condition that these suburban train sets are in when taken out of service and delivered to the factory makes the worst Hi Ace taxi look like a Rolls-Royce.
Build more roads because it won’t be going on rail.