New CEO Sithole ready for challenges facing Prasa

The former eThekwini municipal manager was appointed on a 12-month contract to effect a turnaround at Prasa.

Prasa CEO Sibusiso Sithole. Picture: durban.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG - Newly appointed Prasa group chief executive officer Sibusiso Sithole says he is aware of the challenge awaiting him as he takes over the reins at the ailing rails agency.

The former eThekwini municipal manager was appointed on a 12-month contract to effect a turnaround at Prasa.

Sithole once styled himself as the “doctor of ailing municipalities”. Now a year and a half after his last stint in the eThekwini Municipality, he is tasked with turning around the besmirched rails agency.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, Sithole says he wants to immediately respond to the red flags raised by the Auditor-General report and the Public Protector’s report on Prasa so that he starts on a clean slate.

“My tasks are to put the basics right in terms of governance of the institution in terms of the supply chain management issues.”

Prasa has been at the centre of widespread corruption and fraud amounting to an alleged R14 billion. Sithole says he will also look into Prasa’s business model to ensure sustainability in the long run.

“One has got to look at the financial model of the whole organisation, together with its entities to see how we can sustain it over time.”

The financial situation at the parastatal is so dire that Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said it was losing money “like an ATM”.

Sithole's appointment comes as rail agency Prasa prepares to brief Parliament's portfolio committee on transport on its turnaround strategy on Tuesday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)