Sun Oct 23 03:42:29 SAST 2016

Prasa to keep up World Cup legacy

By Vusi Xaba - | Jul 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa group chief executive Lucky Montana says the agency's performance during the 2010 World Cup was a positive experience they need to sustain to improve their daily business operations.

With an estimated 94percent success rate in transporting 1,4million soccer fans during the world's biggest tournament, the majority of whom travelled by train, the achievement has placed them under obligation to improve efficiency in their normal operations.

The refurbishment of 2 000 coaches at the cost of R7billion gives Prasa the capacity to improve services.

Montana admits that Prasa's services, especially in the Metrorail service sector, needs serious improvement. Metrorail is responsible for ferrying passengers in metropolitan areas.

But he insists that their sights are now on sustaining the World Cup record despite existing difficulties

"People saw us performing well during the World Cup," Montana says. "We now need to improve and build on that. The challenge is that rail is very expensive, but we will strive for higher standards an and meet expectations."

Montana attributes the World Cup success to a dedicated staff.

"They were passionate about their job. They surprised me because they were people who had been on a strike that brought operations to a halt just a weeks before World Cup," he says. "They put in extra time, sometimes until the early hours of the morning.

"When I was employed government gave me three mandates. That was to stabilise the Metrorail service, which was on the brink of collapse three years ago, and to make sure that it delivers quality service.

"Secondly, I had to put in place a turnaround strategy for upgrading a signalling system and preparing a rail system for the World Cup.

"I have achieved some of the goals. Prasa is now working on a signalling system that will make it impossible for cable thieves to steal cables. From now to 2014 I have to make the company commercially viable."

Motana promises that with the new signalling system train delays will be the something of the past.

The first line to be completed will be Naledi-Johannesburg corridor. Also two major programmes, the establishment of Bara-Nasrec link in Soweto and Moloto corridor in Mpumalanga.

The World Cup legacy has been infrastructure development, such the refurbishment of Orlando station and Nasrec and the building of new stations in Durban and Cape Town.


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