Court orders Prasa to reinstate security guards until new tender finalised
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has been ordered to reinstate security companies whose contracts were terminated.
Roughly 3,000 security guards were left unemployed after Prasa terminated contracts with companies across the country.
The Western Cape High Court has ruled that three security companies should return to their posts while Prasa finalises alternative contracts.
Prasa has been instructed to continue the security contracts until the new tender is finalised or alternative measures are put in place.
They've also been ordered to draw up an interim security plan within a month to ensure that passenger safety will not be put at any further risk.
Civil society group Unite Behind joined the legal fight involving the security companies as friends of the court.
Unite Behind secretary member Zackie Achmat described the court order as "an enormous step forward".
We've got an order that the company needs to be kept on until the tender is finished or unless Prasa has an alternative security arrangement.Zackie Achmat, Secretariat member - Unite Behind
Within a month, Prasa has to give an interim plan on how to keep women safe from violence, women safe from sexual assault and assets and employees safe. That has to be approved by the Railway Safety Regulator.Zackie Achmat, Secretariat member - Unite Behind
Achmat explains that Prasa had abruptly ended the contracts of several security companies after delays in issuing new tenders for new security services across the country.
The rail agency had extended the security contracts on a month-to-month basis from August while it tried finalised the tender process.
For more than 10 years, Prasa has had unlawful security contacts, that means that just under 30 companies nationally have had access to state contracts for more than 10 years without new tenders.Zackie Achmat, Secretariat member - Unite Behind
At the same time, Unite Behind has condemned security staff who allegedly damaged property at Johannesburg Park Station on Tuesday.
Achmat says the mayhem, vandalism and sabotage only exacerbate the problem at the rail agency.
Unite Behind has also approached the courts to set aside the Public Protector's report into corruption and maladministration at Prasa.
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