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Prasa interim board will operate until July

Transport director-general Mathabatha Mokonyama says the minister will announce plans for interim measures soon.

FILE: Former transport minister Dipuo Peters. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says she intends to appoint an interim board that will oversee the affairs at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) until July 2017 when the appointment of the new board will be finalised.

Peters announced via a letter read to Parliament’s Transport Committee that she came to the decision due to ongoing issues with corporate governance.

The announcement caught Members of Parliament by surprise, as it came near the end of a two-day briefing by the board and officials from the department.

Transport director-general Mathabatha Mokonyama on Wednesday read a letter from Peters announcing her decision to dissolve the board.

Mokonyama says Peters will announce plans for interim measures soon, adding she is also dealing with health issues.

“She had also been indisposed for the best part of the last two weeks when this matter was raging, and this has had an effect on the speed at which she could have dealt with the matter.”

Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Transport Manny de Freitas has welcomed Peters’ decision, but has questioned the timing, saying she’s the root of problems within the board.

“We hear for the first time from board members that they had actually completed the whole process last year where they had identified a candidate to be the group CEO.

“And her intervention stopped and restarted the processes, that’s not her place to do that. That’s what boards are there for. This is part of a deeper problem that she’s getting involved in and she shouldn’t.”

The Transport Committee will also launch an inquiry into Prasa.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)