Transport Minister Blade Nzimande says that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is losing money like an ATM and that this must be stopped if the company is to remain viable.
Nzimande has already started a clean-up of Prasa by making changes to its board to offer renewal and revitalisation at the struggling state-owned entity.
The minister briefed the media on his department’s budget earlier on Friday and outlined his spending plans for the financial year.
Prasa has been dogged by controversy for years, from purchasing the wrong size trains to Hawks investigations into alleged tender irregularities.
Nzimande says enough is enough.
“Prasa has been like an ATM. I am not going to apologise for this. The leakages financially [are] amazing [and] court cases have not been challenged,” he said.
“Close this ATM because I don’t know what kind of ATM it is. It’s not FNB, it’s not Absa, it’s not Capitec – it’s some special kind of an ATM, Prasa bank.”
Nzimande says transfers to Prasa, which account for 30% of the department’s total expenditure, will allow the rail agency to modernise South Africa’s rail sector and purchase more than 100 new trains for Metrorail.