Talk about having a hands-on approach to problem solving.
This week Portia Derby, Transnet group chief executive (GCE), stepped in herself to resolve port-related grievances in Saldanha Bay.
In a statement sent to Freight News, the parastatal said on Monday she had met with the leadership of various community organisations to address challenges in the port town which have led to protests in the area.
Derby was in the area to meet with stakeholders from the local industrial development zone and municipality to strengthen collaboration between Transnet and the broader Saldanha community, the statement said.
“The issues raised by the community forums include challenges with Transnet procurement processes, employment practices by Transnet suppliers and service providers, as well as development and upskilling of communities in Saldanha Bay.”
Transnet said the engagements had resulted in an undertaking from Derby to provide an update in three months’ time to the stakeholders.
The update will seek to highlight steps Transnet has taken to address all the issues raised.
One of the organisations Derby met with was the All Truck Drivers’ Foundation (ATDF), a controversial pressure group comprising local truck drivers opposed to the presence of foreign national truckers working in South Africa.
The ATDF has on numerous occasions been accused of inciting violence resulting in the burning of trucks on South African highways and was at the centre of the most recent spate of attacks in which several rigs were destroyed.
Along with the ATDF, Derby also met with labour federation Cosatu and unions Satawu and (South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco).