Prasa boss cracks the whip

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pretoria - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Group CEO, Lucky Montana, is cracking the whip on managers who are not doing their work as expected.

This, according to Montana, is to ensure effective service delivery to train commuters. Montana said some incidences occur due to human error and could have been prevented.

Addressing the media, Montana said there were too many managers who are not doing their work.

"We cannot afford to have people who are not working or cheque collectors," Montana said.

There are about 400 managers responsible for train operations. Montana warned that they will be calling people to disciplinary hearings for failing to do their work.

"We have heard the voice of commuters and we have identified where the problems come from," he said.

Montana said some of the problems that are experienced are due to human error and that cannot be tolerated. "Without effective managers, we cannot have efficient service."

Montana said they will make sure that every train is fit for the journey to prevent failures or breakdowns. He urged drivers to always report faults.

It is alleged that some drivers report for work drunk while others have a tendency of arriving late for work.

With regard to the acquisition of rolling stock for trains, Montana said they have started with the process and they are currently conducting a fesibility study that will be presented to Parliament.

About 8 600 new coaches (equal to 718 new train sets) are to be purchased over the next three years. 

"We are ready and there is no turning back," he said. 

Last week, Prasa welcomed government's budget allocation of R97 billion towards the new Rolling Stock Programme for replacement of approximately 2 200 obsolete coaches, whose average age is 36 years.

To ensure effective service delivery, Montana said maintenance work on trains would be done at night and over weekends; Prasa is to fill all the vacant positions and source out other services from private companies. - BuaNews