Mbalula on a mission to smoke out over 2 000 ghost workers at Prasa

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has revealed that, of the over 2 000 ghost employees at Prasa, 60 are foreign nationals. Photo: Deaan Vivier/Gallo Images
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has revealed that, of the over 2 000 ghost employees at Prasa, 60 are foreign nationals. Photo: Deaan Vivier/Gallo Images


A big task lay ahead for Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula as he revealed on Wednesday that over 2 000 ghost employees have been uncovered at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa). Of these, 60 were foreign nationals.

He believed Operation Ziveze would smoke out ghost workers at Prasa and deal with those who were behind the scam.

He was speaking during a briefing on a train ride between Saulsville and Pretoria, Gauteng.

Operation Ziveze has exposed employees who were without the required documentation.

“You have people earning money but are not reporting for work. That is the problem here. When we say this place is a mess, we do not talk theory.”

Mbalula said Operation Ziveze was already bearing fruit. “The operation is yielding results. It has discovered over 3 000 unverified employees. Others are coming forward, saying they were on maternity and sick leave. It is now sitting at over 2 000.”

A forensic report is being compiled to submit to Parliament.

In March, Prasa appeared before the standing committee on public accounts, which requested the rail agency to provide a monthly report about its battle against ghost employees.

The acting CEO of Prasa, David Mphelo, said the parastatal was running three phases in relation to Operation Ziveze.

“We have gone past phase one. We are now in phase two, where we are analysing these people who have not done physical verification signed off by their managers,” he told Parliament.

During the first phase of the operation to weed out ghost employees, 3 000 employees could not collect their salaries during a verification process.

READ: Rail infrastructure rehab: Mbalula gives Saulsville line the thumbs up

Prasa is in no position to fund ghost employees. The ailing rail agency recorded a loss of R1.9 billion in the 2020/21 financial year.

During the parliamentary committee meeting, Mbalula revealed that Prasa’s fare revenue had plummeted by R900 million.

It had been hard hit by infrastructure damage, taking trains out of service for extended periods. This, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, has been blamed for the fare revenue loss. 


Delivering the 

news you need

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
Stats SA's recent consumer price index data this week indicated the rise in food prices was the largest in 14 years. Economists say continued load shedding also adds to the rise in the cost of food production. How are you feeding your family during this tough time?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I have a food garden
6% - 61 votes
I rely on sales
22% - 206 votes
I buy necessities
72% - 680 votes