Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo on May 29 announced new permanent executive appointments to the State-owned rail entity.
The appointments are the culmination of a rigorous process, overseen by external recruitment agencies, as well as experts in various fields, he told media during a virtual media briefing.
“The appointments . . . are a strong indication that PRASA is on a new trajectory and that it is on track to take its rightful place as the backbone of the public transport system in the country.”
Taking up the CEO mantle at PRASA Rail is Nosipho Damasane, who, prior to joining PRASA, has been the CEO of the Bombela Operating Company, operator of Gautrain.
Hishaam Emeran has been appointed PRASA Technical CEO.
Emeran is “homegrown talent” that has risen through the PRASA ranks, said Mpondo.
He had also been acting in the role prior to his permanent appointment. According to Mpondo, his “vast leadership experience in transportation planning, engineering and management, and his strong relations with leading engineering and transportation stakeholders across the industry will stand PRASA in good stead”.
Neil Roesch, meanwhile, has been appointed CEO of Autopax, a subsidiary of PRASA that houses its bus brands – Translux and City to City.
He is currently an operations executive at Larimar (Putco).
PRASA’s new group chief information officer will be David Mphelo, who has been an independent consultant focusing on digital transformation.
Mphelo has a wealth of experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, and Mpondo believes this will contribute greatly to the turnaround of PRASA’s ICT function, which has been dogged by challenges for some time.
Sandile Dlamini has been appointed to the position of group company secretary.
Dlamini’s appointment is timely in that the Department of Transport has started the process of appointing a permanent board of control and he will help establish systems and protocols that are important for the proper functioning of the board of control that will be appointed by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
He is currently employed at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa as the legal advisory services departmental head.
Mpondo said the appointments come at a critical time when PRASA’s turnaround is in process, with various programmes under way to enable the organisation to be customer centric, efficient and “a rail transportation centre of excellence”.