SOUTH AFRICAN PASSENGER RAIL AGENCY HAMMERED BY MPS OVER WASTEFUL SPENDING

South African members of Parliament have asked the board and management of the Passenger Rail Agency (PRASA) what they are doing to fix the entity's finances.

PRASA has been identified by the Auditor General as the worst performing public sector entity with "irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure" to the tune of 14 billion (about 993 million US dollars).

The board and management of PRASA were appearing Wednesday before the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), which acts as Parliament's watchdog over the way taxpayers' money is spent by the Executive, to account for the losses at the agency.

Asked by SCOPA member David Ross about the Auditor-General's findings, PRASA chairperson Popo Molefe said he agreed with the findings but pointed out that it was a legacy problem.

The company, he added, had helped uncover some of the irregular expenditure which helped the Auditor-General's findings, through its own forensic investigation.

Acting PRASA chief executive officer Collins Letsoalo, asked by Ross if he agreed that the agency had made no effort to prevent irregular expenditure and that there was no regard for legislative requirements among others, replied: "I think we should concede.

"There was a collapse of systems in PRASA in all areas, financial supply chain management, control management had been non-existent. Where they existed they were inadequate."

Letsoalo also confirmed to the select committee that the current PRASA's finances were not healthy at all.

Asked whether PRASA was complying with government policy to pay suppliers within 30 days, he said they were struggling to do so.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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