'Technical glitch' delays payment of Prasa workers' June salaries

Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa) train. File photo.
Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa) train. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) this week joined the list of state-owned entities struggling to pay all workers on time.

The parent company of Metrorail released a statement on Wednesday notifying  workers that not all of them would be paid as schedule on Thursday as expected.

“Management wished to urgently communicate an unforeseen technical glitch beyond its control that occurred when releasing the Prasa Corporate and Metrorail salaries for the month of June 2019 bank file," the company said in an internal communication.

"This means that employee net amounts will only reflect on the 28th of June 2019 instead of 27th of June 2019 as prescribed.” 

Prasa, however, said that the glitch did not affect Shosholoza Meyl, Prasa Cres, Prasa Tech, Autopax and Intersite. It added that it was “urgently” addressing the glitch to ensure that a similar error does not occur in the future.

Prasa’s failure to pay all its workers comes on the heels of state-owned arms manufacturer Denel informing its workers that they would only receive 85% of their June salaries.

This was revealed by the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, which represents dozens of affected employees at Denel.

Public enterprise  minister Pravin Gordhan announced in parliament on Tuesday that a lender had come to the assistance of Denel and full salaries would now be paid.

Denel's failure to pay salaries came as several municipalities said they were also struggling to meet their monthly obligations including paying wages.

The troubled Amahlathi municipality in the Amatole district of the Eastern Cape said all its 250 workers, 30 councillors and six traditional leaders were not paid last month. In Welkom, the Matjhabeni local municipality has also struggled to pay salaries on time.

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said there were about 30 municipalities who were not paying salaries on time.

"It is unacceptable that a sphere of government does this. Some of these municipalities are also not paying third parties such as medical aid, provident and pension funds," said Samwu general secretary Koena Ramatlou.

The SA Federation of Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said SA had reached "the rock bottom" as "workers were being asked to pay for a crisis they didn't create".

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