Way off track

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - M DONO­VAN

I RE­FER TO THE let­ter head­lined “Transnet’s turn­around” from Ge­off Ever­ing­ham (14 Au­gust). In it, Ever­ing­ham lav­ishes huge praise on Transnet and its man­age­ment team. Un­for­tu­nately, as ac­knowl­edged by Fin­week, Ever­ing­ham isn’t an in­de­pen­dent and im­par­tial judge of the pub­lic cor­po­ra­tion. He’s a Transnet di­rec­tor and also chair­man of its au­dit com­mit­tee. That puts his views in a to­tally dif­fer­ent light.

I can’t imag­ine a di­rec­tor of a ma­jor pub­lic com­pany and head of its au­dit com­mit­tee writ­ing to a fi­nan­cial mag­a­zine (as op­posed to re­spond­ing to ques­tions as part of an in­ter­view) ex­tolling the virtues of the com­pany and in so do­ing boost­ing pub­lic per­cep­tions of its value. I find this highly un­usual – to put it mildly.

Ever­ing­ham goes on to state Transnet’s core busi­ness con­sists of “freight trans­port and lo­gis­tics through rail freight, ports and pipe­lines”. I know noth­ing of its pipe­line op­er­a­tions, but from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence I have no con­fi­dence what­so­ever in its rail freight and port op­er­a­tions.

I’d sug­gest that if Transnet wants favourable pub­lic­ity it doesn’t go the route of one of its direc­tors per­form­ing an un­so­licited and jaun­diced pub­lic re­la­tions ex­er­cise. Rather let the users of its ser­vices per­form that func­tion.

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