Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has lost R13.9 billion in the past financial year due to irregular expenditure as compared to R500 million wastage in the 2014/15 financial year.
This was revealed by acting group chairperson Collins Letsoalo, who briefed the media yesterday in Hatfield on the recently released auditors report by the Auditor-General. The 2015/16 report was still to go through parliament before being made public.
He said most of the wasted expenditure was due to funds spent on services in the previous years that were carried over by the Auditor-General.
“If the Auditor-General finds out you have a contract in the previous year and that it was ready and paid, they adjust the financials accordingly.”
Letsoalo, who joined the parastatal in July this year, said the waste happened under the leadership of then CEO Lucky Montana, after supply chain and procurement reported directly to him.
Despite the irregularity, he said financially Prasa had done well.
“We have received an unqualified audit report. The Auditor-General audited our books and found them to be sound.”
He said however, that even though the rail agency managed to achieve 47% of their targeted performance in the last year, the figure was a major concern. “We intend in this financial year and expenditure period to ensure that we deal with those targets.”
Last week, chairperson of Prasa’s board Popo Molefe filed an affidavit claiming that R80 million from Prasa’s deal with company Swifambo Train Leasing was stashed into the ANC’s pocket.
Letsoalo said it was not up to the company to decide how their service providers spent their money.
“What I can assure you is that there is no money of Prasa paid into any political party’s account. I can assure that because we do financials (audits). We have more than 200 service providers. Imagine if each time we pay them, we ask them where they are spending their money.”
He added that the new fleet of trains, which were parked at Park Station, Johannesburg, would only be rolled out by Metrorail in five to eight years.
“They are parked at the station as we are in court with the supplier. We have applied to set the contract aside but those are matters in the court and I can’t engage in them.”