The South African government says its passenger rail agency (Prasa) lost more than one billion Rand (69 million dollars) to train fires and vandalism in the past two years.
The South African Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula said this in Johannesburg while briefing the media after touring Braamfontein Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) depot where trains were set alight in December 2019.
“In over two years, almost R1 billion has been lost due to either train burnings, vandalism of power stations, public disorder, train collisions or floods.
“These costs peaked in 2019 at R364 million,’’ he said.
He stated that they have appointed administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo to correct mistakes in the state-owned enterprise.
“Prasa has suffered blows from many years of mismanagement and deteriorating corporate governance.
“Today it is a broken organisation, struggling to provide an efficient commuter and passenger rail service. consequence management must be prioritised,’’ he added.
Mpondo said he has unearthed many deficiencies in the organisation which include no proper record-keeping, no consequence management, and no backup system for Prasa.
“There is lack of capacity, management, operational order and duplication of work. We will be doing lifestyle audits for all employees.’’
“52 cases of current and former employees would be charged with corruption and they would ensure all those who committed crimes are brought to book,’’ he stated.