South Africa: Rail Agency Meltdown Likely to Derail 10,000 Jobs

The dismissal of over 3,000 security guards – with October salaries unpaid – means more than 10,000 jobs directly linked to Prasa’s meltdown could be lost this year as maintenance companies and components suppliers close shop.

While claiming to be on the mend, the operational performance of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has continued to deteriorate, with only a quarter of its performance targets met in the recent past financial year. While the Prasa management may argue that the 26% performance achievement was an improvement from the previous year’s 21% success rate, passengers continue to vanish as trains become even scarcer.

In the year ended March 2019, Prasa carried 208 million paying passenger trips, down from 262 million the previous year. The Western Cape suffered the most, with a 37% decline in paying passengers, the annual report shows.

Prasa’s Metrorail unit is the single largest mover of people, with more than 2.5 million commuters, mostly working-class low-paid workers, relying on it daily to get them to their places of work and home.

The rail agency has not had a properly appointed board of directors since May 2017.

The term of the current interim board expired in October…


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