Today's Labour News

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fikilembalulaDaily Maverick reports that efforts to clean up the rail system, especially the embattled Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and its Metrorail subdivision, will be one of the main focuses of the next 100 days for new Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.  

On Tuesday, Mbalula delivered his maiden transport speech in the National Assembly, where much of the focus was on the battle over e-tolls.  Nonetheless, political parties on both the government and opposition benches decried the appalling security on trains, condemned high crime rates and expressed hope that the rolling stock programme would fix the ongoing rail issues at Prasa.  Mbalula reiterated his June promise of creating a rail war room and establishing stability by appointing a permanent board at Prasa.  On the latter, he said there was “urgency” in filling critical senior management positions at entities under his department and indicated that he had instructed the boards to fill those — particularly at Prasa, which has seen eight board changes since 2014 and seven acting CEOs between June 2015 and the present.  Mbalula said the ministerial war room would oversee interventions in service delivery and focus on safety measures for commuters and in respect of Prasa infrastructure.  “I will be engaging with the Minister of Police (Bheki Cele) to look at ways we can strengthen the capacity and visibility of the Railway Police in the Metrorail environment, so we can reverse the negative impact of rampant crime in our environment,” Mbalula promised.

  • Read the full original of Suné Payne’s report in the above regard at Daily Maverick
  • Read too, Mbalula vows to prioritise two major rail projects, at EWN

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