Nominations to serve on the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have been opened by the Transport Department. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Nominations to serve on the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have been opened by the Transport Department. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Nominations open for those interested in serving on Prasa board

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Cape Town - Nominations to serve on the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have been opened by the Transport Department.

The invitation for all interested parties and individuals to submit their nomination was published on Sunday. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula called on South Africans to place their skills and experience at their disposal, to build a passenger rail system that plays its rightful role as the backbone of the public transport system.

Mbalula said: “The board of control we are advertising will assume duty at the end of the tenure of the administrator, whose role is to stabilise the business and hand over the reins to a fully constituted board.”

He said the skills mix of the board of control must include auditing, engineering, finance, transport logistics, legal and human resources management.

“While looking for South Africans with tried and tested skills and expertise in the corporate sector, we are also serious about empowering women and youth through an adequately balanced board,” he said.

United National Transport Union spokesperson Sonja Carstens said the union was grateful for the attempts to appoint a new board.

“We'd like to see people with rail experience,” she said. At present there are more than 12 people in the executive positions in Prasa, and some have been acting in the positions for years.

According to the advert, two members must be appointed on account of their expertise in cross-border road transport of freight and two on account of their expertise in cross-border road transport of passengers.

Other members must have legal knowledge and relevant expertise in corporate governance, including financial management, or are knowledgeable about the cross-border road transport industry, including labour matters.

#UniteBehind organiser Zukie Vuka said: “We have called for the appointment of a competent and permanent board to stabilise Prasa and fix our trains.”

Vuka said they were concerned about the time frame for nomination and timing of the process. Two weeks was a short time “given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted the usual ways of accessing information for commuters and the public”.

“We hope the Department of Transport will consider extending the time for nominations to a month and publicise the process as far and wide as possible,” Vuka said. That would allow the commuters and public to participate in the process as envisaged by the Constitution and democratic practice.

She said Prasa had continued to deteriorate and therefore called for the appointment of competent and corruption-free individuals.

“We also reiterate the need for inclusion of a representative of commuters in the board. Such a board would likely return Prasa to legality and accountability and #FixOurTrains,” Vuka said.

Nominations with all relevant details can be emailed: For attention: Simon Maluleka, [email protected] 

The closing date is June 1.

Cape Argus

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