The issues relating to financial mismanagement and tender irregularities at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have been in the public eye for a number of years.
In 2015, then-Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her report on the investigation into the various allegations concerning Prasa.
These irregularities have been further probed by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
The minister of transport dissolved the Prasa board of control in December 2019, and a new board was appointed on October 21, 2020 for a period of three years.
This new board members now have to report on the financial year ended March 31, 2020 – which ended six months before their appointment.
In his statement accompanying the financial report, chair Leonard Ramatlakane referred to the unprecedented levels of theft and vandalism suffered by Prasa’s rail and infrastructure network.
Prasa will now focus on achieving stability in key management and skilled positions, strengthening good governance, ensuring the safety and security of operations and passengers, ensuring reliability and availability of rail transport, putting in place strong regional operations as centres of excellence, and consequence management.
This article summarises the main issues arising out of the financial report.
Investigations into irregularities
Numerous investigations are still in progress, including:
An agreement was signed on September 11 last year, in terms of which the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) would second resources to Prasa for six months to assist with the finalisation of the investigation into the material irregularity.
READ MORE: Prasa clean out continues as more executives’ contracts terminated
The SIU is currently investigating 27 matters. The Hawks are working on 23 matters, some of which have been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit.
Internal investigations and disciplinary hearings are under way and three legal firms have been appointed to manage the ensuing disciplinary hearings.
Report of the Auditor-General (AG)
This article first appeared on Moneyweb and was republished with permission.
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