EFF statement on the procurement of defective locomotives by PRASA
5 July 2015
The Economic Freedom Fighters condemns the ANC government for the reckless use of taxpayers funds in the procurement of defective 70 locomotives by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) from the Spanish manufacturer Vossloh España at a cost of R3.5 billion. The Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, welcomed the arrival of 13 locomotives with pomp and ceremony which were manufactured at cost of R600 million in spite warnings from engineering experts that these locomotives are not suitable for South African railway tracks. The Minister has previously announced that government intends to spend R56 billion to procure a further 600 locomotives as part of the modernisation of the rail transport (see report).
The EFF is concerned and disturbed by serious disregard of prudent management of taxpayers funds by the Department of Transport and its related entities like PRASA. We have reason to suspect that bribes may have been exchanged in the cheerful procurement of these ‘defective’ locomotives from a company that was found guilty of price collusion in Germany in 2012.
The CEO of PRASA, Lucky Montana, is already facing numerous allegations of corruption. The Minister must immediately place Lucky Montana under suspension without pay and a full investigation on corruption allegations against him be instituted. The Minister must also immediately suspend all these contracts of defective locomotives which are not locally manufactured. This procurement of foreign manufactured locomotives not only is a waste of taxpayers funds but also makes a complete farce of the ANC government claim to be promoting localisation of production, beneficiation and industrialisation.
The EFF will request the Public Protector to investigate the whether these contracts awarded by PRASA to the Vossloh Group were improper and in violation of the provisions of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004; and whether any government official or PRASA official benefited improperly and unlawfully from the awarding of these contracts.
The EFF wishes to reiterate that its zero-tolerance stance against corruption, whether in government or the private sector. Officials who are guilty of any unlawful or improper conduct and who steal from the poor must face the full might of law.
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, July 5 2015