Lobby Group Complicates PRASA Revival Efforts

At a time South African rail service agency ,PRASA,is getting direct reformist attention,there seems to be an attempt to throw spanner in the work.

Transport Minister,Fikile Mbalula had this week uncovered many criminal conducts of elements stealing PRASA materials and sabotaging rail operations in the country.

The progressive reform may come to a standstill as a lobby group, Unite Behind is taking South African Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula to court over the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)’s leadership crisis.

Mbalula dissolved Prasa’s interim board and appointed a sole administrator in December.

The court application seeks to overturn that appointment.

But a stakeholder ,Sanco’s Thando Dedezana said Unite Behind was standing in the way of government’s attempt to stabilise the rail service.

“It doesn’t necessarily make sense to say come up with an intervention but then take it to court for that particular intervention. Whatever seeks to temper with a progressive move of making sure that our people are being serviced by Prasa, we’ll never support.”

Unite Behind’s Zukiswa Vuka said the administrator’s appointment was unlawful and needed to be taken to task.

“We’re really concerned about the legality of this appointment and the decision by the minister not to follow the right processes. We are saying is you need to follow the law and due processes.”

A rail advocacy group,African Railway Roundtable,has however urged the Transport ministry to engage Unite Behind to abort the court action.

In  a statement by Eddy Sangha,the ARR urged Mr Mbalula to invite leadership of the lobby group and “find common ground. Disrupting the Administrator’s progressive reforms may be counter -productive.

“Due process is important though,yet Unite Behind may be prevailed upon to shelve court action. Getting rail service up and running is in the best interest of all South Africans”,the statement noted.

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