Autopax gets permanent CEO as Prasa fills several top positions

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The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa on Friday announced a permanent CEO for its cash-strapped bus service company, Autopax, as part of a batch of executive appointments aimed at stabilising the ailing government entity which is currently under administration.

The new CEO, Neil Roesch, will be tasked with turning around the company, which operates Translux and City to City buses, and has on several occasions in recent months failed to pay workers' salaries on time as its finances deteriorated.

Roesch is the current Operations Executive at Larimar (Putco).

Prasa administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo said the appointments, which also included that of Chief Executive for Prasa Rail, Nosipho Damasane - a former CEO of Gautrain operator Bombela - were a strong indication that the agency was "on a new trajectory".

Hishaam Emeran becomes Chief Executive Officer for Prasa Technical and David Mphelo Group Chief Information Officer.

Sandile Dlamini has been appointed Group Company Secretary.

Part of Mpondo's key responsibilities since assuming the role of administrator was to see through the appointment of key executive positions. 

"Over the years, Prasa has had a tendency of placing individuals in critical positions who lacked the qualifications, experience and skills required for such positions," said Mpondo.

Prasa has been mired in allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement which have been laid out before the Commission of Inquiry into state capture, including significant financial losses and operational challenges which saw it placed under administration.

"I must hasten to indicate that I am best placed at this stage to attest to the fact that, it is no mean task that these colleagues will be faced with," added Mpondo.

Prasa is still without a Group CEO after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula in December withdrew Nkosinathi Sishi from the position. 

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