South Africa: As Dries Van Der Walt Pulls Out of Prasa's Rail Unit, SOE Execs Keep the Revolving Exit Door Spinning Ever Faster

South Africa's only passenger railway service has now lost the chief executive of its biggest division, who left after 29 years with the company.

Dries van der Walt's departure as acting chief executive of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) rail unit brings to 10 the number of senior executives who have left struggling state-owned enterprises since February 2019. He resigned and left at the end of July, after 29 years with the rail operator, Prasa announced in a note to staff on Wednesday morning.

But the revolving executive door has been swinging fastest at head office Prasa House. Prasa has been the worst affected by the executive exodus of all SOEs. It has lost five executives in 2019 to both resignations and dismissals, while five others remain either on suspension or special leave. In the past four years, Prasa has appointed seven group interim chief executives, including the incumbent, Nkosinathi Sishi.

All but three members of the Prasa executive committee are interim appointments. The utility is yet to fill the key operational vacancies of chief financial officer, human capital management, group chief procurement officer and chief security officer. In addition to these, at least four other executives...

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