Prasa employees who received deals worth R100 million must face disciplinary action

A reply received today in response to a DA Parliamentary question has revealed that contracts worth more than R100 million were awarded to Prasa employees and companies affiliated to them, when those employees were themselves in charge of awarding the contracts.
This is gross abuse of power, and as such, the DA will write to the Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, to ask that disciplinary hearings be urgently instituted against all employees involved. It is shocking that the Minister himself conceded in the response that “certain [Prasa] employees were conflicted with regards to certain contracts”.
Not only did these employees benefit unfairly from these contracts, but it appears that they were also involved in the process of evaluating the awarding of bids – recommending and supporting the appointment of suppliers through confinement processes. Prasa’s executive manager, Nongabisaya Mareko, was also allegedly involved in the process of evaluating submissions for the development of the Women in Rail database.
Section 13 (c) of the Public Service Regulations of 2016 clearly states that “an employee shall not conduct business with any organ of state or be a director of a public or private company conducting business with an organ of state”. It is clear from the reply that some employees contravened this code and should thus be dismissed from the public service.
More than R100 million has been irregularly awarded as a result – these contracts should be immediately cancelled and all attempts must now be made to recover the money.
Public funds that could have been used to uplift millions of impoverished South Africans were shamelessly disbursed to public servants involved in the very tender process themselves. This is unacceptable and is a flagrant abuse of the public trust which is placed in employees of the State.
Today’s revelations are further evidence of why the DA’s request to the Transport Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Dikeledi Magadzi, to summon the Hawks to update Parliament on the status of Prasa investigations must be heeded.

Prasa: Transport Minister must commit to continue all investigations into billions wasted

The DA will write to the new Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, to seek a formal commitment that all current investigations under way into billions spent irregularly by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), will continue.
At the end of last year, it was revealed that 142 Prasa contracts, worth a staggering R24 billion, are being investigated for possible corruption.
This is an astounding amount and must be fully investigated so that those responsible can be identified and held to account.
Under the previous Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, the Prasa Board was dissolved in what may have been an attempt to put a stop to the ongoing investigations.
The Board certainly does have much to answer for and it is of the utmost importance that the possible suspension of the Board does not impact the continuation of the investigations.
That is why we will seek a formal commitment from Minister Maswanganyi that all investigations will continue despite his intention to suspend the Board.
The DA has it on good authority that some reasons given for the removal of the Board indicate that the situation at the entity has worsened, specifically that:
• Fruitless and wasteful expenditure has doubled from R2.3 million in the first quarter of 2016/17 to R4.6 million in the second quarter;
• Irregular expenditure which stands at R15 billion is increasing; and
• Prasa has only reached 41% of planned targets, according to the third quarter performance report for 2016/17.
Should these investigations be stopped, it would be very suspicious indeed and may indicate that there is much to hide.
The DA will continue to fight for and ensure that implicated government officials, as well as ANC-cronies, are held accountable for any abuse of state resources.

DA requests investigation into astronomical 30% RAF Executive bonuses

Documents in possession of the Democratic Alliance reveal that the Road Accident Fund (RAF) has proposed to its Board an astronomical 30% bonus for its Executives.
Additionally, it is proposed that all staff at the RAF will receive bonuses far above inflation. This despite the fact that the Fund is bankrupt and currently unable to pay road accident victims.
While thousands of road accident victims are being denied their claim monies, executives are about to receive astronomical bonuses.
These documents clearly show that bonuses had not been originally budgeted for in light of the R180 billion in outstanding RAF claims which are currently on the books.
The DA will therefore be writing to the Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, requesting that he investigate this matter, specifically, how bonuses so much higher than the inflation rate can be justified within the current economic climate and given the financial challenges facing the entity.
The responsibility should be firmly placed with the Executives – it is ludicrous that they are proposing a 30% bonus for themselves.
These bonuses are justified by claims that the Minister and the Transport Portfolio Committee had approved predetermined objectives. This is simply untrue – at no stage did the Committee make such an approval. The Committee does not have the power to do so.
The DA will not allow State Owned Entities such as the RAF to serve as perpetual personal piggy-banks for a select connected few when the majority of South Africans wait for the RAF to pay them out what is due to them.