Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, says he has confidence that Zolani Matthews, the new group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, is the right person for the job. Mbalula was briefing the media at Langa in Cape Town on Monday at the launch of a new initiative to involve community members in the protection of the rail assets.
Members of the Prasa board were present to address the furore that erupted on social media about Matthew’s age.
The Minister expresses his confidence in Matthews. The man tasked with turning around the limping organisation. Mbalula invited the PRASA board to outline procedures followed in appointing Zolani Matthews.
This follows a story published by Ground Up. According to the article, Prasa’s retirement age policy is 63 but board member, Smanga Sethene says no rules were flouted.
Mbalula says he wants the central line in Cape Town that runs through, among others, Langa, to be operational by the end of this year. The line has been out of service for more than a year. Tens of thousands of people used to rely on this service.
But years of corruption, maladministration and vandalism of infrastructure, among others, have lead to a rail network that is paralysed.
A number of shacks have since been erected on the railway close to the station, adding to Prasa’s troubles.
The programme launched on Monday will aim to involve 5 000 people from communities across South Africa to volunteer at stations. This in conjunction with other security agencies, such as the SAPS, to protect infrastructure and assets. The volunteers will be paid a stipend.
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