The never-ending leadership changes by Government at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has resulted in millions to be wasted in legal fees for which nobody is held accountable.
Yesterday the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) ordered Prasa to pay a total of about R35.5m to almost 200 of its fixed term contact workers (FTCW).
This is the second order of its kind in recent months.
But all of this could have been prevented if Prasa adhered to the Collective Agreement it entered into with the United National Transport Union (UNTU) at the Prasa Bargaining Forum in 2016.
The non-appointment of FTCW are one of the 19 disputes of UNTU against the crippled state-owned enterprise.
According to Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU, Prasa is saying they don’t have the money to do justice to the collective agreement and various orders. They will however do so as soon as funding becomes available.
In February this year, the Former Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, acknowledged that South African’s were fed up with their taxes being used to bail out state-owned enterprises.
R13,7 billion of tax payers money have been used to bailout state-owned enterprises (SOE) in the previous financial year, SAA by R10 billion and the South African Post Office by R3.7bn.
“UNTU calls on Government to intervene with Prasa and ensure that the passenger rail agency who are supposed to be delivering a reliable train service to the poorest of the poor, firstly pay its workers what they are due and implement the 19 disputes of which the FTCW’s form part of and put the service in a position where it can start delivering on its mandate,” says Harris.
Although the Union, who represents the majority of workers working for Prasa, has been issued with several certificates of non-resolution of disputes by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and could call an indefinite strike at any stage, it was not done.
“UNTU is a responsible Union who realises that a strike at this stage will not be in the best interest of our members nor of the struggling commuters they serve,” says Harris.
For more information phone Harris on 082 566 5516.