The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has said that the reason vehicles worth about R57.6 million have been gathering dust at the agency’s headquarters in Hatfield, Pretoria, was a delay in the procurement of tracking service provider.
On Wednesday The Citizen reported how the agency bought a total of 174 vehicles -including 25 Nissan NP300 bakkies, 41 Toyota Hi-Lux bakkies and 30 Toyota Quantum minibuses – more than a year ago, only to park them at Prasa House.
Two independent sources at the agency told The Citizen that the vehicles were bought for the agency’s various entities across the country, but more than a year later had not yet been distributed.
One of the sources said the reason it took so long for the devices to be installed was because there were irregularities in the appointment of a tracking company.
“A senior manager apparently interfered with the procurement processes to appoint his preferred bidder. When this emerged, original tendering documents vanished,” he said.
But the agency’s spokesperson, Nana Zenani, on Wednesday refuted this claim and said there was nothing sinister.
“The reason for the delay in fitting the tracking devices was simply due to delays in procurement rather than any sinister actions by any individual,” she said.
She said Prasa procured its fleet through the National Treasury’s RT57 procurement system which meant the cars were procured directly from the manufacturers with the guidance of the National Treasury.
Zenani said as of Monday, the 5th of November 2018, an average 28 vehicles had been fitted with tracking devices and sent to various operational areas.