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The Portfolio Committee on Transport has decided to put on hold its intention to establish an inquiry into governance at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Members of the Committee said it was not desirable to continue with the inquiry if the Prasa Board, as the subject of the inquiry, had been dissolved by the Minister.

Committee Member Mr Joe Maswanganyi said going ahead with the inquiry will serve no purpose. “We cannot call on the new interim Board to answer on transgressions of the previous board. Instead, we must invite the Minister to brief the Committee on issues around Prasa, including the interim board. Then the Committee will make an evaluation if the inquiry is still desirable,” Mr Maswanganyi said.

He said a number of investigations into operational matters at Prasa were underway, including by the National Treasury, the Special Investigating Unit and Werkman’s Attorneys.

Committee Member Mr Manny De Freitas disagreed with this sentiment and said the Committee needed to draw up a terms of reference for the inquiry, as agreed to previously. He said he was opposed to inviting the Minister, as this would create the impression that the Committee was taking instructions from the Minister on how it should do its work.

“There is corruption involving billions of rands on this Prasa matter. The current approach is very concerning. Things are not right in Prasa,” he said.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Dikeledi Magadzi, revealed that former Prasa Board Chair Dr Popo Molefe had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, requesting that the inquiry be undertaken into Prasa.

“The Committee should wait for that process, as the Speaker might refer the letter to the Committee. In the meantime, the Minister will be invited to update the Committee on what is happening at Prasa,” Ms Magadzi said.

The Committee also deliberated on the submissions it received on the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Bill.

Sibongile Maputi
14 March 2017