Transnet, South Africa's logistics and transport parastatal, has awarded a R350-million auditing contract to a black-owned firm, Mail & Guardian reports. Speaking at an event announcing the contract, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba hailed the deal as a major milestone in the transformation of the accounting and auditing profession.
Appointing a locally grown and black-owned firm to handle the entire audit account of a corporate the size of Transnet, he said "is [a] first in South Africa." The company, SizweNtsalubaGobodo, was selected out of three bidders based on criteria set by the audit committee of Transnet's board of directors.
In an industry still dominated by white professionals, Gigaba said, black-owned companies face barriers in landing work from the private and public sectors. The widespread failure of start-up black-owned firms is an ongoing concern. The sector, he said, is struggling to transform and it is time to look at the role the state could play in achieving transformation objectives. "This is government's money and we want it to be spent in a way that advances government's policies," Gigaba said, adding that he was responsible for appointing the auditors, in his capacity as a Transnet shareholder. The contract is for an estimated R70-million over a period of five years. "I have no doubt we have selected one of, if not the best [firm] in the country," said Transnet board's chair, Mafika Mkwanazi.
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