The transport minister might as well have been talking about a different company, say some of Prasa's employees and contractors.
While Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula patted himself and the management and board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on the back for what he said were improved passenger train services, the train operator has met only 26% of its predetermined performance targets. It has also spent less than 30% of its capital expenditure budget during the 2019 financial year. Of the R12.7-billion capital budget, Prasa managed to spend only R3.7-billion during the year ended March, it says in its annual report.
Reporting back on the progress of the War Room on Monday 4 November 2019, Mbalula said he was elated at the progress made over the past 14 weeks to help the train operator bring stability and recover lost capabilities that have brought the utility to its knees. Mbalula said he was pleased with the organisation's performance since launching the intervention in August as services like train availability have increased and some commuters have come back to Prasa's Metrorail trains.
But the situation on the train tracks, depots, stations and the audited accounts tell a totally different...