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Mbalula blames previous boards for Prasa’s woes

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said Prasa had appointed a lot of what he termed “untouchable” individuals to its boards over the years, adding many of those people had considerable conflicts.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at a media briefing on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has blamed most of Prasa’s problems on previous boards.

The rail agency is looking for new board members.

Mbalula and Prasa administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo briefed Parliament’s transport committee on the agency’s annual performance on Monday.

He said Prasa had appointed a lot of what he termed “untouchable” individuals to its boards over the years, adding many of those people had considerable conflicts.

“With Prasa, it didn’t work over the years. All boards I think were faced with different challenges, others tried their level best but they were either in conflict with the management or with the political principals in the form of the minister.”

Mbalula also updated the committee on Prasa's losses as a result of COVID-19 saying the rail agency was out about R200 million.

Mbalula and Prasa management told Parliament’s transport portfolio committee about the 2020/2021 corporate plan.

The minister said the company’s finances remained a source of serious concern for Prasa, which was facing a fare revenue decline due to the state lockdown.