The November 27, 2019 article titled “Govt re-tenders NRZ recapitalisation deal” published by The Herald — where the paper quoted Transport Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, purporting to announce the re-tendering of the NRZ recapitalisation deal — was factually inaccurate.
Unfortunately, the right to respond was not extended to the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) prior to publication. However, we are grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight.
Quoting the Minister of Transport (Cde Matiza), and other unnamed sources, the article made the following demonstrably false assertions: (a) DIDG failed to provide proof of funding for almost two years, leading to the cancellation;
(b) DIDG was given a six-month grace period to provide the proof of funding which lapsed again, leaving Government with no option except to cancel the tender; and
(c) The exclusion of Transnet complicated the deal raising legal issues.
(d) The Minister claims we avoided Ministry of Transport and Deloitte.
The facts of the matter are as follows: (a) proof of funding was provided timeously. The Herald has been provided with the proof of funding that includes funds from ABSA, Nedbank and other banks, with Afreximbank as the lead arranger. This a matter of fact, not speculation.
(b) No contractual deadlines have been missed; (c) No cancellation has been communicated by the authorised legal body dealing with this matter. It is unprofessional to purport to cancel commercial agreements through newspapers;
(d) The Joint Ventures Act is clear on remedies where equity partner changes arise, no legal issues arise from Transnet;
(e) The only outstanding matter is the signing of the JV Agreement
(f) We have no reason as DIDG to deal directly with the Ministry of Transport as the procurement agent and contracting party is NRZ and not (Minister) JB Matiza, in addition, Deloitte is appointed by NRZ and have direct dealings with NRZ.
(g) It now appears the Minister has taken reign and control of all advisors contracted to NRZ and this goes against governance structures in place to implement the trans- action.