Possible seizure of Prasa assets could leave Park Station commuters stranded
This after the government agency lost an appeal challenging a R22-million debt owed for cleaning services.
A Prasa Metrorail train near Langlaagte station in Johannesburg, 4 February 2020. Picture Neil McCartney
The thousands of commuters who make their way through Joburg’s Park Station after having used trains belonging to the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) could soon find themselves stranded when Mbita Consulting enacts a September judgment allowing Prasa’s assets to be attached for not paying the service provider a R22-million debt.
According to The Star, the pending legal action could see coaches seized by the court after the High Court in Johannesburg recently denied Prasa’s appeal application seeking to overturn the September judgment.
After Prasa lost their appeal, legal representatives speaking on behalf of Mbita reportedly told the publication that Prasa had 48 hours from Wednesday to pay up for for the cleaning services provided by Mbita for more than two dozen Prasa-owned train stations over the period of five years as well as interest accrued since 2015.
“We feel sorry for the passengers, but they would need to speak with Prasa because it has been defying court orders since 2015 to pay a contracted service provider. We will also attach and remove computers, desks and other equipment from Umjantshi House [Prasa’s offices in the Joburg CBD],” said a member of their legal team on condition of anonymity.
They even threatened to go after the pay of Prasa’s staff.
“In fact, we will start in the finance department before the employees’ salaries are sent through ahead of next week’s payday. The employees will have to take that up with their leaders in Tshwane when they don’t get paid. People have lost their jobs at Mbita and it’s time Prasa feels the pain,” the source added.
Prasa simply told The Star that Mbita had no case against it.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)