May 14, 2018 / 9:19 PM / 12 days ago

South Africa appoints interim board at troubled state firm Transnet

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has removed three board members at troubled state-owned logistics firm Transnet and appointed an interim board, the Public Enterprises Ministry said on Monday.

Transnet is one of a handful of state firms accused of irregularities in the awarding of state contracts under former President Jacob Zuma.

New South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to clean up governance at companies such as Transnet in an effort to kick-start economic growth and woo foreign investment, which slumped during Zuma’s nine years in power.

Zuma denies allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Popo Molefe, a veteran of the ruling African National Congress, will chair Transnet’s interim board, the Public Enterprises Ministry said in a statement.

“The previous board has not demonstrated appreciation of the seriousness of issues at hand or the ability to deal with these decisively,” the ministry cited Gordhan as saying.

“We have to hold directors of state-owned companies to a high standard of corporate governance,” Gordhan added.

Three Transnet board members resigned earlier this month, after Ramaphosa made Gordhan public enterprises minister in February.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Leslie Adler

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