Prasa announces team to improve performance

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Administrator, Bongisizwe Mpondo, has appointed a Panel of Technical Advisors to assist in turning the company’s fortunes around.

The advisors will provide Prasa with critical technical expertise and support the Administrator’s turnaround strategy. They will also advise the Administrator on a number of other critical aspects.

“Prasa’s promise to the customer has deteriorated to unacceptable levels, leaving some passengers with no transport options in certain communities, resulting in a drop in passenger train trips over the years,” Mpondo said in a statement on Wednesday.

In December last year, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula dissolved Prasa’s interim board and placed the entity under administration.

Mpondo was appointed for a period of 12 months, after which a permanent board will be appointed to run the affairs of PRASA.

His team is made up of qualified professionals, who are prominent experts in Finance, Supply Chain Management, Communications, Legal and Governance, Engineering and Rail Operations.

The team has been drawn from government departments and other State-owned entities (SOEs), including National Treasury, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is South Africa (CSIR), as well as business.

“The South African government, in particular the Department of Transport (DoT), has provided dedicated support to strengthen a number of SOEs under its stable through various interventions.

“Prasa is one of those institutions that our government would not want to see fail. The Department of Transport, through Minister Mbalula, is pulling out all the stops to make sure that Prasa succeeds and the people of South Africa are provided with affordable, reliable and safe public transport,” Prasa said.

Members of the technical advisory team include Dr Mathetha Mokonyama, who has been seconded from the CSIR; Krishna Govender -- a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) -- who will provide thought leadership in accounting and financial management, and Themba Camane, who has over 25 years of experience in the fields of engineering, construction, real estate and project management.

In addition, William Mathebula has been seconded from National Treasury to provide expert knowledge and skills in Supply Chain Management. Phelisa Nkomo has been appointed on a fixed-term contract to improve communication, stakeholder management, as well as performance monitoring and reporting at Prasa and Makhosini Mgitywa has been appointed on a fixed-term contract as Prasa spokesperson.

“These appointments are a clear demonstration that government is committed to bringing stability at Prasa. I have no doubt that the Technical Advisory Team will provide the organisation with the necessary insights, expert knowledge and recommendations, which will ultimately serve to rebuild Prasa as the organisation that meets the needs of its commuters,” Mpondo said. –