Ramatlakane said about 80% of Prasa’s stations had experienced serious vandalism during the pandemic.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane says vandalism of train stations across the country is bad and has gotten worse.

Speaking to eNCA’s Tony Ndoro on Monday, Ramatlakane said about 80% of Prasa’s stations had experienced serious vandalism during the pandemic.

“The situation is quite bad, we have gone around all the four regions looking at the infrastructure, physically walking, and, yes, it’s bad,” Ramatlakane said.

He said the agency had managed restore 19 of the country’s train corridors although not all are 100% functional.

“So far we have brought back about 19 corridors which are now functional, not 100% functional. The rail itself has been damaged so that in some places you cannot even stop at the station because of the vandalism that has taken place.”

Ramatlakane said the agency was making some progress under new CEO Zolani Matthews.

“When an organisation does not have a permanent group CEO, you have basically a radar-less organisation, the presence of a group CEO basically means stability, stability of leadership at the top level and of course you now have the board, you now have that structure.”

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“The executive also needs to stabilise … you eliminate all the acting positions with permanent group excos in order for them to able to take responsibility and accountability on what they do. That is a step in the right direction of making sure that the entire organisation is being stabilised,” Ramatlakane said.

He said the agency was also working towards minimising space for corruption by relooking at its policy to ensure stability.

“When I talk about stability, I am not only talking about personnel. I am also talking about policy aspects. Stability must mean that it basically narrows the space for corruption because policies are clear, everybody is held accountable based on the implementation of the policy all around.”

Siyanda Ndlovu

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