Prasa’s new trains remain off tracks due to irregularities

The R3 billion locomotives will remain off the tracks because of irregularities identified by the Auditor-General.

FILE: A prototype of Prasa’s new locomotive series. Picture: Twitter via @AlstomItalia.

CAPE TOWN - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)'s controversial brand new R3 billion locomotives will remain off the tracks because of irregularities.

Prasa officials briefed Parliament's standing committee on public accounts on Wednesday on R14 billion in irregular expenditure identified by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu.

Members of Parliament have also questioned the state-owned company's financial stability.

Not only has the suitability of the Afro 4000 locomotives been questioned, the Auditor-General has also identified R218 million in fruitless expenditure as a result of the purchase.

Group acting CEO Collins Letsoalo says the locomotives cannot be used for various reasons.

“The way they were procured, there was no contract as we claim in our papers. But the other work they needed done, which was paid for, we could not derive value from.”

Prasa is currently involved in a legal battle with the company it bought the locomotives from to recover R2.6 billion.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)