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S.Africa's Transnet says unauthorised spending in 2020 down at $614 million

South African state logistics firm Transnet, which has faced allegations of corruption, said on Friday irregular expenditure in 2020 dropped to 9.97 billion rand ($614 million) compared to 18.51 billion rand in the previous year.

Adds detail, gives revenue and quote

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 23 (Reuters) - South African state logistics firm Transnet, which has faced allegations of corruption, said on Friday irregular expenditure in 2020 dropped to 9.97 billion rand ($614 million) compared to 18.51 billion rand in the previous year.

Transnet, which operates nearly three-quarters of Africa's rail network, the bulk in South Africa, is one of several state firms facing investigations over alleged corruption, or "state capture", running into several millions of dollars.

It blamed contracts in previous years for the spending that did not comply with prescribed legislation, and said 394 million rand of the unauthorised spending from contracts entered into in the 2020 financial year.

The company said the cumulative irregular expenditure

including 2019/20 was 114.3 billion rand.

Transnet said it was taking "immediate corrective actions" to address the irregular expenditure, including reviewing previous remedial plans, addressing a backlog in implementation and seeking solutions to past and present challenges.

A number of its top executives, including its former chief executive, have been suspended or fired in the wake of an official corruption inquiry into the procurement of diesel and electric locomotives.

Transnet posted a 1.3% rise in revenue to 75.1 billion rand for the 2020 financial year, driven by higher average tariffs despite a drop in rail freight volumes and a volume decrease in port container throughput compared to the prior year.

Export coal volumes, remained stable at 72.5 million tonnes in 2020 compared to 72.1 million tonnes in 2019.

($1 = 16.2428 rand)

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by Mfuneko Toyana and David Evans)

((Tanisha.Heiberg@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753034; Reuters Messaging: tanisha.heiberg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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