Embattled Prasa owes law firm more than R9m — report

Prasa may lose the services of a second law firm over "unpaid fees". File photo.
Prasa may lose the services of a second law firm over "unpaid fees". File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Rapport/Roger Sedres

A law firm is threatening to withdraw its services to the embattled and “broken” Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

eNCA reported on Sunday that the agency owed Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr more than R9m.

The law firm and Prasa did not immediately comment on the issue but a letter obtained by the broadcaster indicated that Prasa owed R9.4m, excluding work in progress that still had to be billed for.

GroundUp reported just over a week ago that Werksmans Attorneys was owed R19m in outstanding fees by Prasa. This was revealed in a letter by David Hertz, chairperson of Werksmans, addressed to Bongiziwe Mpondo, the administrator of Prasa.

Mpondo said during a media briefing in Cape Town on Thursday: “We are saddled with a business that is broken. This is due to an erosion that has taken place systematically over a period of time,” he said.

“We are trying to bring a semblance of order in our operations.”

SowetanLIVE reported on Saturday that cash-strapped state-owned bus company Autopax would not be able to pay full salaries to its 1,071 staff on Monday, according to acting CEO Tiro Holele.

Autopax, which operates bus liners City to City and Translux, is a subsidiary of Prasa.

Holele said in a staff note: “On Monday we will unfortunately not be able to meet the full salary obligations for the month of January and have managed through the operation to collect some funds from fare revenue to pay you 50% of what is due.” 

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