The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) plays a crucial role in the economy of this country by ferrying passengers daily within the big metros as well as long distances. However, the entity has been without a permanent CEO for almost a year, since the sacking of Zolani Matthews and there are also no permanent appointments in other senior management position.
Some analysts say this is not good for the stability of the agency and for the struggling economy.
Train services are one of the backbone modes of transport for thousands of workers to and from work as well as as scholars.
With the price of petrol having gone up this month, train commuters rely on trains as the most affordable mode of transport. However, there are concerns about the instability at management level at this entity and its impact on vulnerable people.
“We are also faced with high inflation price of everything going up and the absence of viable alternative means of transport that are affordable and accessible. So, it is urgent that government and Prasa must deal with issues of leadership in Prasa and be able to restore passenger rail system so that the economy and South Africans can benefit,” says Dr Nkosikhulule Nyembezi.
For this financial year, the entity has been allocated millions of rands for the refurbishment of coaches, and for other signaling as well as security of the rail infrastructure.
Another analyst believes government and the management must he held accountable for the instability at Prasa.
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“It’s a disgrace actually, a shambles and we, the citizens of South Africa, have every right to be told how and why this happened. Partly, a waste of money and a great deal of money of taxpayers money; clearly, there is incompetence involved perhaps corruption. We don’t know and we need to be told it’s obvious who is to blame. Look, it’s a state-owned entity we are talking about here. The executive management should be held responsible,” explain Labour Analyst Terry Bell.
The ministry of transport said will be available to comment on Tuesday.