Prasa paid salaries late due to human error

Prasa, which owns subsidiaries running commuter trains and bus services, says human error resulted in the company failing to pay salaries on time.
Prasa, which owns subsidiaries running commuter trains and bus services, says human error resulted in the company failing to pay salaries on time.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

Troubled Passenger Rail Service of SA has assured the transport minister Fikile Mbalula that its failure to pay salaries on time this month was due to a human error.

The announcement comes after another state-owned entity Denel on Tuesday revealed it had no alternative but to cut salaries this month.

However, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan intervened, saying a lender has come to the rescue of arms manufacturer Denel and the salaries will now be paid in full.

Mbalula's office spoke about the Prasa situation following a scheduled meeting with the entity's board on Wednesday evening.

"The Prasa board assured the minister that the entity remains a concern with adequate liquidity and that the announcement on delays in salary payouts this month was due to human error - following the introduction of new salary adjusted structures - which stalled payments," read the statement.

Mbalula also raised concern with the number of vacancies in key positions at Prasa, high staff turnover and low morale and he directed Prasa to move with speed to fill vacancies - especially in critical areas.

Other items that were discussed included issues of governance, improving Metrorail’s operational performance as well as accelerating the implementation of Prasa's modernisation programme.

 “There must be urgency in the implementation of the turnaround strategy. As minister, I’ll need daily and weekly reports on issues of workers’ grievances and plans to get Prasa back on track," said Mbalula.

“Trains must work and be on time, passengers must be respected by Prasa and communicated with frequently."

The minister also highlighted the importance of security on trains, adding that it needed to be upgraded.

“The majority of our people want peace but a criminal element will always remain. The issue of security has to be prioritised. We must not let the troublesome few ruin the experience of the majority, peace loving commuters”.

He said he has also instituted a multi stakeholder war room to provide guidance to Prasa on its turnaround strategy.

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