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Nzimande instructs Prasa to get trains in order after safety permit refused

The Railway Safety Regulator says the company’s current safety permit expired on Tuesday.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has instructed the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to immediately get its trains in order.

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) says the company’s current safety permit expired on Tuesday.

It won't issue a new one until the agency addresses the matter.

Nzimande says that Prasa must ensure it works meticulously to address all the safety concerns raised by the regulator.

He also wants a detailed report on the matter.

Prasa says it has not received any letter from the RSR stipulating that the agency is not permitted to operate.

Prasa says it had asked for a deadline extension on its safety permit from the regulator.

The agency says for the regulator to make a call to refuse to renew its permit during operating hours is simply unfair.

But the RSR says Prasa has failed to prove the necessary leadership to run safe operations.

The RSR says it's refused to renew Prasa's safety permit because the agency has failed to prove its commitment and necessary leadership to run safe operations.

The regulator met with Prasa management last week and conveyed its lack of confidence in the agency.

But Prasa says it's received no official response except for what is now in the public domain.

Additional reporting by Katleho Sekhotho.