Government welcomes Prasa ruling

2017-07-04 19:33
Prasa's new 'people's train'. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

Prasa's new 'people's train'. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Government has welcomed the North Gauteng High Court judgment that set aside a dodgy locomotive contract, the ministry of transport said on Tuesday.

Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi in a statement said he was pleased with the judgment that would have seen Swifambo Rail Agency nab a massive Passenger Rail Agency SA (Prasa) contract.

The contract was awarded to Swifambo in 2013.

It became mired in controversy after an exposé by Rapport newspaper which detailed the Afro 4000 locomotives' unsuitability for local rail lines.

Maswanganyi said the department, as a shareholder in Prasa, was responsible for delivering good governance principles.

Remedial actions

He added that the department was consistent in imploring the Prasa board to go deeper into the "perceived corruption and maladministration at Prasa".

Maswanganyi said that the 2014/15 Auditor General report and the Public Protector report Derailed both revealed systematic governance failures.

Maswanganyi added that the department implemented the Public Protector report by ensuring all Prasa contracts above R10m since 2012 were investigated.

He said that former transport minister Dipuo Peters complied and instructed the Prasa board in September 2015 to fully comply with the remedial actions of the Public Protector and to ensure that those irregularities do not recur.

Maswanganyi said that commuters in SA who heavily rely on public transport "deserve nothing but the best.

"In dealing with this matter, we directed Prasa to develop a clear scope of work programme and that financial and fiscal prudence be exercised at all times. It could not have been that public funds are misused by corrupt officials and people with self-serving interests," he said.

Maswanganyi further said that government was "committed to deal decisively with fraud and corruption, and will do everything in law to root out these acts of dishonesty and criminality wherever they emerge".

Swifambo were directed to pay the costs of the court application including the employment of three counsel.

Read more on:    prasa  |  joe maswanganyi  |  johannesburg  |  public transport  |  corruption

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