DA submits PAIA application for proof of VBS’ compliance with National Treasury

PRASA's Afro4011 train.
PRASA's Afro4011 train.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

The Democratic Alliance says it will submit an application to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to request the rail agency to fully disclose documents showing concrete proof of VBS Mutual Bank’s compliance with the National Treasury.

This follows media reports that the cash-strapped Prasa is allegedly investing R1-billion with VBS Mutual Bank‚ the bank that lent President Jacob Zuma R7.8-million to pay back money in the Nkandla scandal‚ the DA said on Sunday.

“In terms of Section 7 of Public Financial Management Act (PFMA)‚ Prasa is bound to act within the ‘prescribed framework’ for their banking‚ cash management and investments. S7(2)(b) requires that a public entity may only open a bank account with (a) Treasury approval and (b) after prescribed tender processes have been complied with," said DA shadow transport minister Manny de Freitas.

“Further‚ even if PRASA was granted approval by National Treasury‚ VBS submitted an unsolicited bid and the DA therefore requests Prasa’s compliance with PFMA procedures for unsolicited bids and any relevant tender documents for this deal‚” he added.

De Freitas said this was a clear indication of a leadership crisis at Prasa and once again supported the DA’s call for a total overhaul of the leadership at the entity.

“What’s more‚ is that there are no reasons for Prasa‚ which is struggling financially‚ to invest money it doesn’t have.

“The DA now awaits a response from PRASA as the public deserves to know the full truth.”

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