Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has dissolved the interim board of the Passenger Rail agency of South Africa (PRASA) and placed the struggling State-owned entity under administration with immediate effect.
Bongisizwe Mpondo has been appointed as its administrator. Mbulala on Monday described Mpondo as an "entrepreneur who has an extensive record in corporate governance and working with public institutions to improve operational efficiencies". He has served on the boards of the East London Industrial Development Zone, South African Express and South African Airways.
Mbalula also announced that secondment of the acting Group CEO, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, has also been withdrawn with immediate effect.
The passenger rail agency has been rocked allegations of administrative inefficiencies and corruption involving top executives, with former transport minister Blade Nzimande once suggesting that it had for a long time been used as an ATM.
An attempt to turnaround the company has led to suspensions of numerous senior managers implicated in allegations of improper, irregular, corrupt, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
In October, the Auditor General of South Africa Kimi Makwetu, gave PRASA a disclaimed audit opinion for the 2018/19 financial year, citing the regression on instability of executive management, and a lack of accountability by senior officials to address findings made by the AG over years.
The rail agency has also come under scrutiny for not spending its budget allocation for required capital projects.
Early this month, Mbalula told members of Parliament that a permanent chief executive officer and other critical executives would be soon be appointed, following months leadership instability. Interim CEO, Sibusiso Sithole, quit in February, after eight months in the job.
Nzimande appointed the interim board to turn around the ailing rail agency in April 2018.