PRASA’S long-distance bus subsidiary, Autopax, operates Translux and City-to-City coaches.     Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA)
PRASA’S long-distance bus subsidiary, Autopax, operates Translux and City-to-City coaches. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA)

Competition Tribunal ruling favours Prasa over APM in fight of over access fees

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 4, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Competition Tribunal has found against bus operator African People Mover (APM) in its application against Prasa’s pricing fees system for access to its long distance park stations.

APM had brought the application against passage railway provider Prasa and Autopax, a subsidiary of Prasa, and asked for interim relief from paying access fees to park stations pending the outcome of a market Inquiry.

APM sought to not pay these access fees and demanded that Prasa should allow its busses to access and operate at park stations, which are owned and run by Prasa. 

APM CEO Tumisang Kgabosele accused Prasa of engaging in excessive pricing and exclusionary behaviour by preventing its access to park stations. Prasa said APM owed R9m in access fees as of May 2019. 
Johannesburg Park Station. The Commission received separate complaints concerning the Pay-on-Use system as well as access at Park Station, from bus operators African People Mover, Moolla’s Transport Services, Intercape, Eagle Liner, and Eldo Coaches, between March 2017 and July 2019. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/Arican News Agency (ANA)
The state-owned company said Kgabosle knew the rules and regulations that govern pricing at Prasa as he had worked at the company and that his sudden unhappiness with it was surprising.

“The tribunal noted that while Mr Kgaboesele complained about the fees at (Johannesburg) Park Station, it appeared that his company is, in fact, a serial non-payer for all access fees across all Prasa CRES (Prasa  Corporate Real Estate Solution facilities throughout the country even though they continued to use them. 

"Prasa CRES has consistently demonstrated the amount owed by APM as R9.3m as at 31 May 2019,” Prasa said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company said the ruling was breakthrough for Prasa.

“The decision by the tribunal is a legal breakthrough for Prasa, especially Prasa CRES, which has been struggling to collect access fees from APM and few other bus operators. Prasa CRES is in agreement with the ruling of the tribunal and notes the blatant lack of evidence provided to it by APM to support its claims against Prasa. This judgment will assist Prasa CRES in collecting the access fees and barring those bus operators who are using the competition law remedies to deal with contractual issues.”

“This then opens the way for Prasa CRES to exercise its rights in terms of the contract and if need be bar all bus operators, including APM from operating from of its facilities until all outstanding monies have been, is paid.”

Political Bureau

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