Prasa is still operating for now

The high court in Pretoria has held over the suspension of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa) operating permit, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) has confirmed.

This is after the RSR imposed a court order on the agency after suspending its permit in terms of section 26 of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act.

“The RSR’s decision came as a result of the accident that took place on 4 October 2018 and was further informed by the fact that Prasa Rail cannot demonstrate that it has the ability, commitment and resources to properly assess and effectively control the risks arising from its railway operations,” RSR spokesperson Madelein Williams said in a statement.

The regulator said it was concerned about the incident and believed that its concerns were not unwarranted.

However, Williams said that on Sunday, Prasa’s board sought an audience with the RSR board, while it filed court papers that were served to the RSR.


“The RSR was expected to file its answering affidavit by 13:00 on the same day. In light of the fact that Prasa had already made an urgent application to the High Court, the meeting could not proceed due to the impending court application,” she said.

Risks still a concern

Williams said the court considered the fact that the RSR was not afforded sufficient time to respond to the urgent application and granted parties more time to file their papers, including their heads of arguments.

The parties are expected to report to the court on immediate steps to address safety issues on October 9, while the matter will be heard on October 11.

“The RSR remains concerned about the risks that permeate the system and will ensure that it adequately presents its concerns when the proceedings convene on 11 October 2018,” the statement read.

“These accidents, irrespective of the magnitude, point to major risks within Prasa’s operations and could have dire consequences.

“The regulator is, therefore, unable to tolerate the continuation of unsafe practices within Prasa, considering that Prasa mainly serves the poorest of the poor with no alternative means of transport to travel to and from work,” the regulator said. — News 24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

State capture commission granted a 13-month extension

Judge Wendy Hughes says this is the final extension because finality is "owed to the nation"

Ramaphosa bets big on infrastructure to boost economy

Sona was a mixed bag but there were some meaningful announcements

Stranded commuters say Ramaphosa’s rail promises ring hollow

Cape Town’s largest passenger rail line has been closed for months, hitting people’s pockets and adding to road traffic congestion

Waiting for Autopax: the state-owned bus company is running on empty

The Prasa subsidiary has been unprofitable for years. And although its fleet contains broken and poorly maintained buses, it plans as if 100% of its fleet is operational. This means a lot of waiting

Mkhwebane hauled to court again

The public protector’s report on Prasa is irrational, according to NGO coalition #UniteBehind

A former CEO who is facing criminal charges has been appointed to the CEF board

Nkululeko Poya admitted to spying on a journalist and his former colleagues — now he’s been appointed to the board of a parastatal
Advertising

Jailed journalist a symbol of a disillusioned Zimbabwe

Hopewell Chin’ono backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he succeeded Robert Mugabe. Now he’s in jail

Sisulu axes another water board

Umgeni Water’s board in KwaZulu-Natal was appointed irregularly by her predecessor, the water and sanitation minister claims
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday