National Treasury approves R900 million for Prasa to fix rail network
THE National Treasury has approved the use of R900 million in Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) funds for the surveillance and security response to theft and vandalism of the rail network.
Prasa interim head Badisa Matshego said they applied for cash injection from the National Treasury and it approved the amount for security improvement aimed at protecting assets and infrastructure in the short-term.
"This will allow Prasa additional to in-sourcing to acquire additional specialised capacity from private security companies to amplify the protection of assets, commuters and employees," he said.
Matshego made the statement when Prasa delegation briefed the select committee on transport, public service and administration, public works and infrastructure on their plans to deal with the damage caused by vandalism and theft of its infrastructure.
Matshego said Prasa would as a matter of urgency bring the requisite security provision where it was exposed in the aftermath of vandalism and theft to its infrastructure during lockdown.
"It is to partake in contracts of other SOEs with proven service providers to deal with what we are faced with," he said.
Acting security head Tebogo Rakau said they intended to have sustained surveillance on the Prasa railway network.
In terms of the security plan, Prasa would create an internal armed response, install CCTV monitors and also ensure there was armed response within the business.
"We also look at the introduction of E-Guarding services for protection of critical assets with early warning security technology and defensive security systems," read the presentation.
There would also be procurement of specialised investigation services with legal support and access to criminal laboratory.
"We look at deployment of remotely piloted aircraft systems in order to conduct virtual patrol of high risk infrastructure. This capability will work in tandem with specialised investigation and armed response," he said.
Rakau also said the interventions were security force multipliers to ensure security response to theft and vandalism that would result in significant reduction in crime incidents.
"The interventions will also be complemented by the walling of corridors with Mabopane and the Central line at the procurement phase," he said.
Rakau said the surveillance solution would be introduced in all critical infrastructure to ensure there was a self defence mechanism.
He said the tender for the drones and that of balloons installed with cameras in yards with no illuminations would be also out starting next month with possible introduction in December.
Rakau also said Prasa has launched integrated operations with police in August dealing with, among others, areas of intelligence gathering, coordination and analysis supported by the State Security Agency and Crime Intelligence.