Bongisizwe Mpondo, Administrator of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), today once again ignored the leadership of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) and appointed five more executives at the state-owned enterprise (SOE) which has been unable to transfer employees provident- and pension fund contributions due to cashflow constraints.
Mpondo decided to brief Organised Labour in a twenty-minute session before this press conference today after representatives of UNTU confirmed to attend his media briefing to hear the announcement he was about to make.
This comes two weeks after UNTU warned Mpondo and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula that the Union has reached the end of the road with the Administrator’s blatant disregard for the law, specifically labour law, collective agreements reached over years in the PRASA Bargaining Forum, conditions of service of PRASA employees and disrespect toward the Union, who represents the majority of PRASA employees.
According to Harris, Mpondo continued to employ executives from outside of PRASA, ignoring competent employees within PRASA and demoralising the employees even more by not giving them opportunities to grow in the SOE.
“Since Mpondo’ s appointment UNTU repeatedly stated that its leadership is available 24/7 to assist the Administrator with our expertise and knowledge to bring about change to PRASA and to ensure that passenger rail gets back on track to the benefit of all South African’s.
“But it seems that Mpondo is driving a specific mandate in line with the fact that there has never been a political will to save PRASA, but rather deliberate attempts to run it to complete ruin. If PRASA follow in the footsteps of South African Airways (SAA) more than 14 000 families will be without providers, not even to mention the ripple effect on contact workers of PRASA.
“Millions of commuters would be out of pocket as passenger rail is the cheapest form of public transport. But after a year of pre-election promises by President Cyril Ramaphosa and even more talk by “Minister Fix-It”, PRASA is currently in its worse state than it has ever been despite having an Administrator running it for six month to ensure change and shift action,” says Harris.
For more information phone Harris on 082 566 5516.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Deputy-General Secretary: Media, Liaison and Communication. For UNTU press releases phone Sonja on 082 463 6806 or e-mail email@example.com