Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the commuter rail entity Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is in a dire financial position as it is not generating enough revenue to cover its operational costs.
He says the group has posted a loss of R1.9 billion for the year under review.
Mbalula was speaking at a Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) hearing on Prasa’s annual report and financial statements for the 2020-2021 financial year.
He says the Auditor-General has highlighted a number of weaknesses including a lack of stability in key positions.
Last week it was reported that the United National Transport Union (UNTU) said government cannot afford to allow a crucial service such as trains to become a luxury part of the country’s public transport sector.
Mbalula on Tuesday last week said that the Prasa had uncovered 3 000 ghost workers in its system who were receiving full salaries.
DISCUSSION: Ghost employees at Prasa:
It will cost Prasa about R4 billion to repair damaged infrastructure including train stations.
Mbalula said Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have suffered the most devastating vandalism of rail infrastructure.
Acting general-secretary of UNTU Neels Haasbroek said what is happening at Prasa is illogical.