Blade Nzimande on Prasa's annual report, inquiry and Metrorail

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande.
Transport Minister Blade Nzimande.

Leipzig - Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande says it is “unacceptable” that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has not yet submitted its 2016/2017 annual report.

It is supposed to be submitted at the end of September every year and is now eight months overdue.

“It is an embarrassment,” Nzimande told Fin24 on the sidelines of the International Transport Forum Summit on road safety and security in Leipzig, Germany. It’s the world's largest gathering of transport ministers and policy makers.

Nzimande says he has instructed the Prasa board to speed up the process.

The minister appointed an interim board with businesswoman Khanyisile Kweyama as the interim chair in April this year.

“I have said to the new board, go and sort this thing out and submit as soon as possible all documentation that is required by Parliament.”

The portfolio committee on transport announced in March that it will be launching an investigation into Prasa. The timeframes however are yet to be finalised.

Nzimande welcomed this parliamentary inquiry into Prasa and said that he would have no problem participating.

“Parliament must leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this issue to the best of its ability,” Nzimande told Fin24.

“Of course for me the most immediate thing really, is to stabilise governance.”

He said the new board also has a mandate to appoint qualified, competent senior management.

“Just about everybody who is a senior manager at Prasa is acting.”

Nzimande says he also wants to prioritise what seems to be the worst part of Prasa, which is metrorail in Cape Town.

“I am appointed by a government that is committed to addressing these issues and I am a communist as well. I am worried about the working class that goes to work under such difficult conditions: trains that are late, trains that are being cancelled, trains that are overfull.”  

* Fin24 is a guest of the ITF at its summit.

* SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.

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