The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) is partly to blame for the sharp increase in arson attacks and vandalism on its infrastructure due to its continued failure to increase safety on railway stations and trains, the constant delays of trains and the general lack of service delivery, the United National Transport Union (Untu) has said.
“Commuters are beyond frustrated. The management and the board of Prasa keep on making promises to increase service delivery and to take drastic steps to ensure safety on railway stations and trains, but to no avail,” Untu general secretary Steve Harris said in a statement.
Since October last year, Prasa has lost more than R330 million due to the burning of its coaches throughout the country.
“Untu condemns any acts of vandalism to any property of Prasa. At the end of the day, Prasa as a parastatal is operated with taxpayers’ money. On the other hand, it is no use for the management of Prasa just to continue shrugging its shoulders,” Harris said.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has, meanwhile, made nine “crucial” findings against the rail operator. She found “widespread” evidence of maladministration, improper conduct and nepotism at Prasa.
“In her report entitled ‘Derailed’, she also found that Prasa extended another improper tender of R256 million to Siemens to install a communications system,” it held.
– Citizen reporter