The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)’s interim board has once again failed to appear before Members of Parliament (MPs).
The board members were expected to appear before the Transport portfolio committee, where pressing issues such as train safety were to be discussed.
This is not the first time that the interim board has failed to appear before Parliament.
Only acting CEO Mthuthuzeli Swartz and acting group CEO Cromet Molepo are at Parliament, along with a few other Prasa representatives.
And MPs are not impressed, including the Democratic Alliance’s Manny de Freitas.
“It shows absolute arrogance and disregard for this committee.”
The Chairperson of the Committee Ms Dikeledi Magadzi said the Committee was disgusted by this conduct, as it was not the first time that Prasa Board had behaved in this manner.
“We are disappointed as the Committee. This meeting with Prasa should have happened last week already but the Committee has had to reschedule because Prasa did not honour the meeting,” Ms Magadzi said.
“The service Prasa is rendering is meant to benefit the poor, and the cornerstone of that starts with being accountable to Parliament who appropriates funding to the entities and Departments,” she said.
Molepo told the Committee there was confusion with the invite from the Committee and that it reached Prasa only yesterday. He did not elaborate what the confusion was.
Ms Magadzi said even if there was confusion with the invitation, it was Prasa’s responsibility to call and find out what and who the Committee wanted.
“Allegiance and accountability should be to the millions of poor people who rely on trains for daily living and participation into the economy of this country. Prasa should respect Parliament,” she said.
ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane has given the board time until 2pm on Tuesday to fly down to Cape Town from Johannesburg.
“If we adjourn this meeting at 2pm, they should be here… they should make an effort to appear.”
If there’s another no-show, board members will be issued with a summons.