Prasa launches new security plan to end rail agency’s woes
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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula today launched the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Ministerial Security Plan.
The plan involves an active involvement and collaborative effort with the ministers of Police, State Security, Justice and Correctional Services as well as the National Prosecuting Authority.
At the launch, Fikile said, "The Prasa Integrated Security Plan we are launching today has been in operation since mid-August. In August, the SAPS and Prasa protection services arrested six men in possession of copper cables and signalling equipment worth over R5.5 million."
The minister said that in the past, in order for Prasa to fulfil its obligations to secure the passenger rail environment, it had to spend no less than R700 million in 2018/19.
The security service was completely outsourced, placing reliance on private security firms to bolster passenger security.
Part of the new plan includes the appointment and in-sourcing of 3 100 Prasa security personnel.
"Notwithstanding this huge cost, the interventions have clearly not worked. In-sourcing of security is a critical building block in our integrated security strategy," the minister said.
Fikile went on to state that transport is not only an economic and a social function, but also carries massive security responsibilities.
The minister said the integrated plan to police and secure the rail infrastructure was anchored on five pillars.
1. Intelligence gathering, analysis and co-ordination
2. Proactive approach
3. Combat approach
4. Reactive approach through detection
5. Communication and liaison
Fikile said at the launch, "Today, as we launch this Prasa Integrated Security Plan, we are saying, enough is enough. For too long we have been victims at the mercy of self-serving criminals who have no regard for others."
Watch the minister speaking at the launch below: