Prasa receives approval to test new locomotives

The agency has been criticised over allegations that the trains were too high for local railway lines.

FILE: Prasa's controversial trains which were purchased from a Spanish manufacturer. Picture: Kgotatso Mogale/EWN."

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has received a progress report from the railway safety regulator regarding the testing of locomotives purchased for local use.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has purchased several locomotives, and in recent weeks it has been criticised because the trains were too high for local railway lines.

While investigating the issue, the regulator has already given a 'no objection' approval for tests to proceed on these trains.

"They have indicated that they have given a 'no objection' stage approval. What this means that Prasa has the authority to proceed with the testing and commissioning phase for a period of six months. It is a normal process that they follow each time that new rail equipment is received," said the Departmental Spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso.

Prasa has been embroiled in a public spat between its board chairman Popo Molefe and former group CEO Lucky Montana.

On Tuesday, Montana defended the agency's engineering head Daniel Mthimkhulu, who resigned amidst speculations over the authenticity of his qualifications.