Public spats and litany of governance deficiencies derailed axed Prasa Board: Minister


Public spats and litany of governance deficiencies derailed axed Prasa Board: Minister

Sipho Mabena | 2017-03-13 13:44:53.0


Minister Dipuo Peters

Image by: Trevor Samson

The axed Board of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) disregarded transport minister Dipuo’s Peters’ instructions to focus on pertinent issues and instead concerned itself with in-fighting and public spats.

That was according to the minister‚ addressing journalists in Pretoria on Monday. She said this behaviour‚ coupled with the declining performance‚ lack of governance and financial prudence at the agency had left her with no choice but to dissolve the board.

“I have on numerous occasion directed the board through formal communications to focus on pertinent issues relating to service delivery and the core mandate of the company‚ to no avail. My requests and instructions were often not heeded to and the preoccupation of the Board was on side issues‚” Peters said.

The minister said the public spat between the board and acting CEO Collins Letsoalo‚ who was sacked by the Board after revelations of his demand for his salary to be increased by 350%‚ was the last straw.

She said following careful consideration of representations from both the board and Letsoalo‚ as well as her own observation of the deteriorating state of affairs at the embattled agency‚ she felt she had to act.

She said it was her contention that the dissolution of the board was a necessary step to bring the matter to closure but also to ensure that she restores good corporate governance‚ stability and ensure that Prasa continue to provide services to the public.

Peters unveiled an interim board amid an urgent court application by the former board to reverse their removal by Peters and to interdict her from appointing a new board.

The interim board‚ to be chaired by former CEO of SA National Road Agency‚ Nazir Ali‚ is made up of Peters’ former spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso‚ trade unionist Frans Baleni‚ Xolile George‚ as well as a representative from National Treasury.

Peters said the interim board was carefully selected on the basis of skills and expertise required to run a company of Prasa’s magnitude.

TMG Digital/The Times

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