The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has welcomed the report into ghost employees at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) released by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
During a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday, Mbalula said about 1 159 employees vanished from Prasa‘s payroll system in a single day, when the rail agency launched Operation Ziveze to crack down on ghost workers last year.
Mbalula said that the disappearance of these ghost workers saved Prasa R200 million in salaries.
Satawu spokesperson Amanda Tshemese says, “We welcome the report. However, we believe that there should be accountability starting from HR to the finance department. Millions of rand’s were stolen and we want to see arrests taking place soon. We also believe that these ghost workers were working with employees at Prasa. We want those insiders to face the law and for corruption and stealing from the public.”
VIDEO: Minister of Transport briefs on the investigations into ghost employees at Prasa:
The Minister said a forensic investigation will be conducted at Prasa.
He says interventions will include the installation of a digital fingerprint and a photo identity verification process with the assistance of the Department of Home Affairs.
“The completion of this exercise will then enable Prasa to freeze the salaries of those flagged. Digitisation of files and supporting documents, clean-up of the employee database, employees who submitted fraudulent qualifications will be served with letters to explain themselves within 48 hours from Monday, failing which stricter action will be taken in line with the applicable prescripts. Criminal charges will be laid against those who have committed fraud,” Mbalula added.
Mbalula announced that the Chief Financial Officer and the Head of Information Communication Technology at Prasa have also been suspended.