Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
20 Dec 2021
5:09 pm

‘It won’t take 30 years to fix Prasa,’ says Mbalula

Citizen Reporter

Mbalula slams reports that Prasa will take decades to fix, and says the board will turn things around.

KIMBERLEY, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 19: The scene where a passenger train derailed on August 19, 2015 in Kimberley, South Africa. Twelve people were injured when a Prasa Afro 4000 train travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town derailed as it passed through Kimberley on Tuesday night .(Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Emile Hendricks)

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has dismissed media reports that it will take 30 years to fix Prasa.

An April report into why there are fewer trains on the tracks and an increase in trucks on the road spurred several reports in the past few weeks into just how far the passenger rail operator has fallen.

Among other issues, the report states that Prasa is a “broken organisation.”

Also Read: Prasa to challenge ex-CEO Zolani Matthews’ ‘meritless’ application over his removal

It goes on to say that while Prasa suffered blows from many years of mismanagement and deteriorating corporate governance, “the railway is no longer on its knees, but out for the count.”

But Mbalula is more optimistic about the entity’s future than the report researchers.

“Our efforts to turn around Prasa will not take us 30 years but will deliver tangible results in the coming year,” said Mbalula on Monday. 

“Most of the corridors that were shut down will be back to full operation in the new year, including the Central line in Cape Town and the Mabopane line in Tshwane,” he promised.

Mbalula said it was common cause that his office had inherited a broken organisation, which was in dire straits.  

“When we came into office in 2019, we set out a process to address the dire state of the entity and implemented various interventions to address institutional and operational challenges at Prasa,” he said.  

“That process is firmly on track and significant progress has been made in a number of areas.”

Despite losing its umpteenth CEO in Zolani Matthews, Mbalula is confident Prasa’s board is making progress with turning the rail agency around.

“I have been briefed on a number of significant decisions the Board has made, which include the termination of employment of the Group CEO, a matter currently before the courts,” said Mbalula.  

The department has promised to provide comprehensive updates to the nation in 2022, on the progress made in implementing the Prasa Corporate Plan and the Shareholders Compact.  

(Compiled by Narissa Subramoney)

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