Prasa putting millions of jobs at risk - DA

Cape Town - The DA claims it has information that confirms that the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) is not compliant with sections of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

According to Manny de Freitas, DA shadow minister of Transport, this means it may not get the funds it desperately needs from the Department of Transport.

"This is very alarming as Prasa transports two million people to and from work every day. If Prasa does not meet the requirements to get the funding it needs to keep trains running, these people will be left stranded and will inevitably lose their jobs and livelihoods," De Freitas said in a statement issued on Sunday.

"This is a significant number of our country’s total workforce which also supports millions of other South Africans."

In his view, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi has neglected his duties and failed to uphold his mandate.

"He must urgently intervene to ensure Prasa gets its affairs in order as our country cannot afford to shed more jobs in this adverse economic climate," said De Freitas.

READ: Prasa probe costing taxpayers R148m over 2 years

"The problems faced by the rail agency can be traced back to him as he has had little interaction with the board since assuming office.
This shows that he does not acknowledge that there is a crisis at the rail agency and that he does not take seriously the unemployment millions of people are likely to face."

What South Africa needs to recover from the recession is more jobs, De Freitas emphasised.

In his view, what he calls Prasa’s "reluctance to comply with the country’s laws" is standing in the way of economic growth.

"If the minister really cares about people’s lives, he will take swift action to ensure that the mess at Prasa does not take away their livelihoods," said De Freitas.

"Maswanganyi has been entrusted to ensure the smooth flow of transport in the country and has so far demonstrated he is not the right person to do this."

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