Prasa loses millions to wasteful expenditure

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has lost millions of rands to irregular and wasteful expenditure, the Sunday Independent reported.

It failed to meet 52% of its targets in the year, according to the agency's annual report tabled in Parliament this week.

There was irregular spending of R14.9-million due to procurement awards being made without quotations.

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure of more than R3-million was incurred because invoices were not paid on time and disciplinary processes were not conducted with the required 30-day period.

Forensic investigations were underway into an official who was referring fleet vehicle repairs to a service provider in which he had a business interest, and into a middle management official accused of unethical behaviour.

According to the report, Prasa did not meet its targets on rail passenger safety and rail fatalities increased during the year.

Subscription of over R3m
Meanwhile in May, Transport Minister Ben Martins said Prasa spends more than R3-million subscribing to the New Age newspaper.

"Prasa has a subscription agreement with the New Age media company, which provides Prasa with 3 200 copies of the newspaper on a daily basis from Monday to Friday," Martins said in a written reply to a parliamentary question at the time.

According to the payment schedule for the period from August 2012 to August 2013, the rail company paid a cover price of R3.50 including VAT for 256 publishing days and 3 200 copies, at a cost of R2 867 200.

It paid a further 50 cents for 256 publishing days and 3 200 copies at a cost of R409 600. This totalled R3 276 800.

Martins was replying to a question at the time from Congress of the People MP Dirk Feldman, who asked whether Prasa had a subscription with the New Age.

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