Transnet on the hunt for ‘ghost trains’ depriving it of revenue

By Arijit Ghosh

Transnet SOC Ltd. is probing the existence of illegal freight trains that are depriving South Africa’s state-owned rail operator of revenue. 

The logistics firms that’s struggling to ship coal and iron ore said the “ghost trains” aren’t scheduled formally by the company. 

“Considering that these serious allegations have not yet been accompanied by supporting evidence, Transnet has referred the allegations for independent investigation,” it said in a statement on Monday. If the allegations “are proven correct, Transnet will act swiftly.”

Read more: Transnet taps private firms to run South African ports, railways

The suspected illegal train movements are another headache for Transnet, which also runs the nation’s main ports and fuel pipelines. The company has been hobbled by a shortage of locomotive parts, the theft of cables used to operate its electric trains and inefficiencies that have arisen due to it being a monopoly. That’s hurting South African miners and exporters.

Thungela Resources Ltd., South Africa’s largest exporter of thermal coal, said on Monday it expects sales to drop for a second year because of bottlenecks at Transnet.

Read more: Transnet snubs Kumba’s overture to run lucrative SA iron ore rail line

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