Opposition lashes out at the government for purchasing high-priced locomotives

By Drum Digital
06 July 2015

Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) recently imported 13 new diesel locomotives at a cost of R600-million.

Times Live reported that the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) recently imported 13 new diesel locomotives at a cost of R600-million as part of an order for 70 locomotives for R3.5-billion from Spanish manufacturer Vossloh Espaa.

It further stated that opposition parties were not happy with this and expressed their discontentment at government's decision to go against the advice of engineers to not go ahead with the contract.

DA spokesman on transport Manny de Freitas said the locos have a roof height of 4.264m but the maximum height for diesel locos in this country can not exceed 3.965m.

"Engineers say the locomotives could damage the overhead electrical cables on the railway lines," he said.

He said parliament had been misled about the dimensions of the new locos.

The EFF called for the CEO of Prasa, Lucky Montana, to be suspended without pay while the tender was investigated.

COPE's Dennis Bloem asked why Prasa had "wilfully" ignored warnings about the locomotives.

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