Editorials 8.11.2018 09:40 am

Prasa’s problems are no laughing matter

R57.6 million was spent on a fleet of vehicles by Prasa, but they have been standing in the parking area at Prasa House in Pretoria for more than a year. Picture: Jacques Nelles

R57.6 million was spent on a fleet of vehicles by Prasa, but they have been standing in the parking area at Prasa House in Pretoria for more than a year. Picture: Jacques Nelles

How is it possible that in an efficiently run organisation it takes more than a year to do something to make a major purchase effective?

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) thinks it is acceptable to spend R57 million on a fleet of vehicles and then leave them sitting unused for a year, because of “delays in procurement”.

That is their stance following our report on the fleet, which has remained idle because the corporation was unable to have tracking devices installed for a year.

Not only were the vehicles sitting in the open in Pretoria, they were the subject of an alleged mass theft operation by some of Prasa’s own security personnel.

Yet, it is interesting that the “delays in procurement” suddenly started to get resolved on Monday – the day The Citizen started asking questions.

How is it possible that in an efficiently run organisation it takes more than a year to do something to make a major purchase effective?

Given Prasa’s track record in equipment buying, it is not a surprise. It bought diesel locomotives which were too tall to be used on local tracks and, most recently, spent R51 billion on commuter trains which can only be used once many millions more are spent lowering station platforms which are too high for the trains.

If it weren’t taxpayers’ money being squandered, it would be funny.

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