The Treasury is — at best — open to taking on a “large chunk” of Transnet’s R130bn debt, a move that would free up cash for the ailing state-owned transport behemoth but undercut finance minister Enoch Godongwana’s efforts to rein in public debt.

Transnet has been cited by economists and business leaders as one of the biggest reasons for the country’s economic problems as it runs a sprawling logistics infrastructure spanning ports, railways and container terminals — all of them underperforming...

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