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It’s nothing to write home about when a private listed company publishes its full annual financial statements within four months of its year end. When one of SA’s state-owned companies does this, as Transnet did this week, it’s an event.

Yet the backstory to Transnet’s timely presentation of its March year-end financials is a rather nail-biting one, one that serves as a reminder of the troubles that lurk behind a set of results that looked good, at least on the surface. And if those troubles are bad for Transnet, they are even worse for exporters who cannot rail their goods to market or importers who cannot land goods at the ports, all of which constrains SA’s economic growth...

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