Prasa has lost over R1 billion to theft and vandalism the past three-years

TRAIN - Prasa has lost over R1 billion to theft and vandalism the past three-years

Railway agency Prasa has lost more than R1 billion over the past three years due to theft and vandalism of infrastructure.

Theft of Prasa infrastructure has ravaged the country’s railway network and criminals have been getting away with it.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who announced the new security plans at Prasa, says many incidents of theft were what he terms ‘an inside job’.

Mbalula has vowed to end criminals’ reign of terror at Prasa.

Transport Minister Mbalula unveils a new security plan for Prasa:

Mbalula says, “Criminals have been in charge here in Prasa and they have been running a show and aided by some employees inside. It has been an inside job.”

With R1 billion loss from theft over the past three years Mbalula says it’s time to turn things around.

While the infrastructure theft and damage are clear for all to see, the minister says there’s an administrative crisis that must be attended to.

“The Auditor-General also said that the people who were appointed were appointed irregularly and it meant that if we had to take a decision against those companies we needed a contingency plan.”

But those that stand accused have denied the allegations.

Axed Security Officer Andries Potsane says, “We want to put it clear to him that whatever is happening now, we want him to stop it with immediate effect because this is more corruption.”

They instead claim that Prasa is passing the buck.

Potsane says, “Makhosini Nkosi must stop lying to the public by claiming GWE are the officers involved. That is a lie. We have footage that shows Peasa officials were stealing the cables themselves.”

Prasa Spokesperson Makhosini Mgitywa says, “There was a misunderstanding among the previous security guards who thought they would be automatically taken in. Now, we couldn’t do that. As Prasa, we have our own selection criteria.”

As a result of the security contracts being terminated many of those who were employed by the security companies have been without jobs for weeks.

Axed Security Officer Moses Muila says, “From July, they start coming with their problems. How are we going to survive without pay for three months?”

The department wants to clean up the broken system that’s led to Prasa losing millions.

Mbalula says, “There will be no mercy for criminals who think they can continue stealing and vandalising public property with impunity. In August, six men were arrested for stealing copper cables worth R5.5 million.”

Prasa says it referred several cases for prosecution on charges of economic sabotage

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