Cape Town cuts water to PRASA, electricity to follow

10th March 2020 By: African News Agency

The Cape Town municipality has cut water supply to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and will do the same with electricity supply to the troubled entity on Tuesday, deputy mayor Ian Neilson said on Monday.

The disconnection comes after PRASA missed a deadline of Friday imposed by the city to pay water and electricity arrears of R98-million.

"PRASA has not paid. They city has disconnected water already and will disconnect electricity tomorrow," Neilson told African News Agency (ANA). 

PRASA's total bill comes for Cape Town municipal rates and services comes to roughly R114-million, of which R98-million constitutes arrears.

According to Neilson, the rail entity made a payment of R86.7-million in February against earlier arrears of R168-million but has failed to make a firm arrangement for covering the current arrears.

The city has said disconnection should not disrupt commuter train services because only PRASA's offices and other facilities would be disconnected.

Late last month, Eskom briefly cut power supply to PRASA subsidiary Metrorail to recover electricity arrears of some R6.5-million.

The commuter rail agency has been described by transport minister Fikile Mbalula as being on "the brink of collapse" following a long period of corruption, mismanagement and vandalism.

His office could not immediately be reached for comment.