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Unions raise concerns over implementation of Prasa security plan

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has launched the new plan, which includes a partnership with the police, state security and justice departments.

The Cleveland train station in Johannesburg has been vandalised and stripped of its infrastructure during lockdown. Picture: Edwin Ntshidi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport unions are hoping that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) will see some change under the new inter-ministerial security plan, which is aimed at guarding the railway system against vandals but they're concerned about its implementation.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has launched the new plan, which includes a partnership with the police, state security and justice departments.

Every year, the railway agency loses millions of rands when syndicates strip cables and other essential equipment, resulting in trains going out of service for long periods.

Satawu's Tinzi Lubabalo said that while the inter-ministerial security plan looked good he was concerned about how it would be implemented to make sure that syndicates were dealt with once and for all.

"Criminals and syndicated have been having a field day for a long time in Prasa. These are the steps that should have been taken three years back."

Untu's Sonja Carstens has also welcomed the plan but said that the proof was in the pudding.

"The commit from government for the first time, a bit of political will, ensures that the vision of moving from road to rail becomes a reality."

Mbalula has acknowledged that Prasa is broken and is in a mess because of years of mismanagement, however, he is confident that this plan will bring much-needed stability ot the rail agency.

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