Transnet, Prasa like 'two bulls in a kraal' - MPs

2017-05-09 20:10
(Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

(Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The investigation by Werksmans Attorneys into irregular contracts at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) that could amount to R24bn, should be completed by the end of June at a cost of more than R100m, the portfolio committee on transport heard on Tuesday afternoon.

Committee members gasped when they heard that the investigation had already cost R148m up until now.

A further R14m had been budgeted to complete the investigation.

Members of Prasa's executive met with the committee to discuss their strategic and annual performance plans.

There was a general concern about vandalism and passenger safety.

DA MP Chris Hunsinger said this happened because Prasa's infrastructure was not properly protected.

ANC MP Sbusiso Radebe said vandalism of trains should be criminalised.

He suggested that the committee meet with the police and the department of justice to take the matter further.  

'Two bulls in one kraal'

Chairperson Dikeledi Magadzi agreed.

"This is taxpayers’ money, we can't allow people to vandalise it," Magadzi said.

Several MPs were bemused that Prasa had to pay Transnet for the use of their infrastructure, and vice versa.

"Dual ownership of rails? I don't understand this in this one beloved country of ours," said Hunsinger.

Manny de Freitas, DA MP, said it makes no sense and was "absolute nonsense".

Magadzi said it seemed as if Transnet and Prasa were "two bulls in one kraal".

"It's ridiculous. You should start finding yourselves."

Turnaround plan

Hiro Holele, executive in the office of Prasa's group CEO, who led the delegation, said they were not like two bulls.

"Transnet is the big brother, the rich brother," he said.

"But why take from the poor?" asked Magadzi.

"It (Transnet) charges us for using infrastructure the public already paid for," said Holele.

Transnet charges Prasa R900m per year, while they pay Prasa only R150m.

Dr Sipho Sithole, Prasa's group executive for strategy, told the committee Prasa would reach a turnaround phase in the next 12 months and it would reach a phase for growth and expansion within the next 36 months.

De Freitas was not convinced and said it seemed as if this plan was drafted in "cloud cuckoo land".

Leonard Ramatlakane, ANC MP, however, said the turnaround plan was "good news", but also reminded them of the present situation.

"We can't cast our eyes to 2020 whilst what we have currently is falling apart," he said.

 

Read more on:    transnet  |  prasa

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