Civil society movement calls on Ramaphosa address rail failures

Prasa's current headquarters in Pretoria.

Prasa's current headquarters in Pretoria.

The civil society says it believes urgent intervention is required by the president, as Prasa is mired in state capture, corruption and maladministration.

A coalition of civil society movements under the UniteBehind banner on Wednesday said it had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene in the “dire state” of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), which in recent weeks has seen the key Central Line in Cape Town be ground to a halt.

“We believe that urgent intervention is required by the President. Prasa is mired in state capture, corruption, maladministration,” said UnitedBehind in a statement.

“We believe that executive action is required to address, amongst others, state capture, maladministration, rolling-stock deficiencies, violence, crime and asset protection.

“We are pleased that a new minister of transport has been appointed and hope to work with him in order to solve to the public transport crisis. However, we demand that a permanent and capable full-time Prasa board is appointed as soon as possible.”

UnitedBehind further demanded that Cabinet instruct the minister of transport to appoint a credible new board with the requisite qualifications, experience, skills and competencies, adding that former transport minister Joe Maswanganyi had appointed an “interim board” that had no foundation in law and appears to be covering for corrupt actors in Prasa and defeating the ends of justice.

“All those implicated in corruption, mismanagement, maladministration must be removed from Prasa. Investigations must be concluded, and the rapid prosecution of cases against all those involved in the criminal enterprise to capture Prasa must be prioritised,” UnitedBehind said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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