Minister Mbalula confirms that 39% of PRASA managers’ qualifications could not be verified
In response to a question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament this week, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula confirmed that the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) could not verify the qualifications of as many as 39% of all managers at the Passenger Railway Association of South Africa (PRASA).
This is a shocking statistic, especially given the dire straits the entity finds itself in. Furthermore, it only exposes PRASA to all manner of risks and the entity simply cannot afford any more blunders, especially not ones as costly as the 13 ill-fitting Afro-4000 locomotives.
The fact that SAQA cannot verify the qualifications of 39% of PRASA’s managers, is further evidence that corporate governance at the entity has been systematically eroded to such an extent that seemingly every Tom, Dick and Harry can be hired to perform very critical technical work that requires special artisan skills.
This also means that the Minister cannot guarantee the safety of our commuters who desperately rely on trains. We have seen constant delays in trains, constant break downs and passengers getting stuck on railways which in some cases have resulted in major accidents. This comes at the backdrop of thousands of graduates who are struggling to find work, yet their jobs and opportunities are essentially are occupied by unqualified personnel at PRASA.
The DA calls on Minister Mbalula to expedite the skills audit process at PRASA and ensure that all posts are filled by qualified individuals who are fit for purpose.
Statement issued by Thamsanqa Mabhena MP - DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Transport, 6 December 2019