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Africa|rail|Resources|Service|transport|Operations
Africa|rail|Resources|Service|transport|Operations
africa|rail|resources|service|transport|operations

Parliamentary committee calls on dept not to delay PRASA leadership stabilisation

10th July 2023

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport chairperson Minah Lesoma has urged the Department of Transport not to prolong the process of stabilising leadership at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

Former chairperson Leornard Ramatlakane’s release from his duties means that both the chairperson and the CEO positions are left vacant, she noted.

“The challenge of having such positions vacant at any entity can be untenable and result in regression. From the committee’s side, we do not want regression from the refurbishment work that was started when Fikile Mbalula was the Minister of the Department of Transport,” she said.

Further, the committee is behind the continuation of the stabilisation efforts that were initiated by Sindi Chikunga when she was the Deputy Minister and which are being carried on by Lisa Mangcu who is the current Deputy Minister.

“PRASA is ably being led out of its challenges that span really wide from employee relations to reviving rail tracks around the country. A lot of time and resources have been dedicated to Mabopane and Cape Town Central Line.”

Work should continue and not be subjected to political jostling, especially on the Central Line where land has been identified for dwellers occupying the rails in Langa and Phillipi, Lesoma added.

“We are interested and committed to conduct oversight closely on PRASA in such a way that will give assurance to the public which needs the rail service the most. This is notwithstanding loose ends in stakeholder engagements and agreements thereof,” she emphasised.

Additionally, PRASA was too precious an entity to fail and was the only vehicle that would complement the taxi industry in providing South Africans with safe, reliable and affordable form of rail transport, she said.

“The work to move people to alternative settlement sites must continue. All stakeholders should be brought on board and patience should be exercised as people need to be moved to decent locations. We are satisfied that work is continuing and it must continue without hindrance.

“The Central Line will be brought back to its full operational capacity and the committee is committed in executing its oversight role. That work will be daunting if one has appreciation of rail transport operations,” Lesoma noted.

The site that was identified was being serviced and some residents were satisfied, but it needed to be fully serviced, as it would be a human settlement, she added.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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