Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, was a no show this morning at a media briefing he called yesterday, to announce the Ministerial interventions at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
After the media waited more than 30 minutes, they were informed that the media briefing had been postponed indefinitely .
PRASA is a state-owned entity under the Department of Transport. It is established in accordance with the mandate contained in the Legal Succession Act of South African Transport Services (SATS) Act of 1989 as amended in November 2008.
Since his appointment a month ago, the Minister has been quoted several times about the can of worms he discovered at Prasa.
The Minister however, still did not have discussions with Cromet Molepo, Acting Chief Group Executive Officer of Prasa, nor with the leadership of the United National Transport Union (UNTU), who represents the majority of employees working for Prasa, to establish what is going on at ground level.
UNTU appealed to the Minister in writting to have an urgent meeting with the Union shortly after his appointment, but he has not responded to our request.
“It was therefore a shock yesterday, that the Minister was going to announce his interventions without consulting with Organised Labour to avail himself of the facts,” says Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU.
According to the Minister’s media invite, he is of the view that Prasa has an indispensable role to play in service delivery and a crucial transformation role in changing the lives of South Africans directly.
“UNTU fully agrees, but the Minister must realise he won’t be able to fight the battle to turn Prasa around, alone. UNTU responded to the call of Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address by extending a hand. Now it is up to the Minister to accept it,” says Harris.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Media and Liaison Officer. For UNTU Press Statements phone 082 463 6806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org