The Congress of the People (COPE) is calling on new Passenger Rail Agency CEO Zolani Matthews to restore the public’s confidence in Prasa and in train services.  

COPE wants Matthews to immediately introduce a 24-hour security service and appoint rail police services to ensure safety and protect the rail infrastructure.   

The CEO post had been vacant since 2015.  

COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says the country is tired of empty promises. 

The newlyappointed CEO of Prasa, Zolani Matthews, has a responsibility of restoring the confidence of the public in Prasa. We are expecting that the first thing that Matthews must do is to introduce a 24-hour security service in Prasa. It is disgusting to see how everything of Prasa is vandalised; buildings and trains are being burnt and destroyed on a daily basis. Passengers are not feeling safe on trains. It is our view that Matthews must immediately restore the rail police services.” 

Matthews has outlined his priorities to help turn around the state-owned entity. Mathews takes the helm of the SOE which has been battling for years to effectively deliver on its mandate.  

Speaking after being announced in the new position on Saturday, Matthews said he was determined to build a stable transportation firm.

We know that delivering a reliable and affordable rail and other forms of public transport is central to our economic performance and project of transformation. I am determined, together with our team, to work to deliver high-quality service and build a stable, fiscally prudent, modern company that fulfils its mandate and is at the center of our future transportation objectives. 

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said Prasa has turned over a new leaf following Matthew’s appointment.  

He added that Matthews’ professional record of over 30 years shows his focus on transparency and corporate governance.  

The Minister explained that his department is working towards ensuring SOEs have the right leadership.
 
“My core mandate is to get the passenger rail commuter in the big city centres and everywhere else to operate. Where we overlap, Prasa and Transnet must find each other. Now, I have a GCEO at Prasa, a board – they can talk and make sense. Pravin and I, the Minister of Public Enterprise, we agree. The question is the implementers. The task to get people in the right positions is important and it must be done.

Minister Mbalula announcing new Prasa CEO: