The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) on Wednesday said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is operating without a valid safety permit after it "refused" to issue it following its expiration on Tuesday.
"The RSR is of the opinion that Prasa cannot demonstrate to the regulator that it has the ability, commitment and resources to properly assess and effectively control the risks to assets and safety of its customers, staff, contractors, visitors and others who may be affected by its railway operations," spokesperson Madelein Williams said in a statement.
"Prasa’s permit, which was previously issued with special conditions, expired at midnight on 31 July and the RSR has taken a decision not to issue a permit until it is satisfied that Prasa’s planned interventions addresses the current safety concerns."
Williams said this meant that Prasa was operating unlawfully and is in contravention of the National Railway Safety Act.
"In line with the regulatory tools at the disposal of the Regulator, Prasa can be issued with either a prohibition directive, a contravention notice and a penalty, or criminal charges can be instituted."
Numerous attempts to reach Prasa for comment were unsuccessful.