3 000 ghost workers cost Prasa billions

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The United National Transport Union (UNTU) says government cannot afford to allow a crucial service such as trains to become a luxury part of the country’s public transport sector.

The comments came after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday said that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) had uncovered 3 000 ghost workers in its system who were receiving full salaries.

Mbalula says that these ghost workers are inadvertently costing Prasa about R4 billion to repair damaged infrastructure including train stations.

Mbalula says Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have suffered the most devastating vandalism of rail infrastructure.

UNTU Acting General-Secretary Neels Haasbroek says what is happening at Prasa is illogical.

Haasbroek says, “And it’s not fair and honest to say they don’t have money. These posts are vacant and most of them were occupied yesterday. And some of the people who were occupying these posts have left which means they are funded. We cannot go on to say there’s no money where you find budget cuts of R4 billion have just gone to waste. And then the level of corruption has contributed towards that. So, there is a serious process and a commitment on the government to go and make sure they retrieve this money.”

DISCUSSION: Ghost employees at Prasa