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Prasa still paying millions in salaries to employees that don't exist - Herron

9 May 2022 9:35 AM
Tags:
SCOPA
PRASA
Parliament
Brett Herron
Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
ghost workers

Good party secretary-general Brett Herron chats to CapeTalk Breakfast host Refilwe Moloto.
  • Brett Herron of the Good party says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has misled Parliamentary watchdog, Scopa
  • When answering a parliamentary question from Herron, Mbalula revealed that the salaries of 3,000 ghost workers are still being paid at Prasa
  • Herron claims the rail agency has spent close to half a billion rand on these salaries since December

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at the Akasia Licencing Centre in Centurion on Monday, 7 March 2022. Picture: Fikile Mbalula/Twitter

Good party secretary-general Brett Herron says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has contradicted himself regarding the payment of ghost workers at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

In March, Mbalula told Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) that Prasa had stopped paying 3,000 ghost workers on its payroll last December.

However, the minister now says the ghost workers are still being paid.

The answer was quite surprising because it contradicts completely what he told Scopa, the most shocking part being that they are still being paid. Their salaries were not stopped in December so we're talking probably several hundreds of millions of rands maybe even half a billion rand just since December that has been paid out despite knowing that these employees don't exist.

Brett Herron, Secretary-general - Good Party

RELATED: Outa wants answers from Mbalula over 'vague' story on Prasa ghost workers

In a response to a written Parliamentary question on Friday, Mbalula stated that Prasa's chief financial officer had yet to be instructed to stop salary payments to the ghost workers due to internal verification processes.

Mbalula also revealed that the rail agency has not attempted to establish whether any of the ghost workers are employed elsewhere by the state.

Herron says it's bewildering that the ghost employees are still getting salaries from the cash-strapped state-owned enterprise.

He says Prasa has been plagued by maladministration, leadership challenges, and significant revenue losses due to infrastructure damage.

According to Herron, almost half a billion rand has been paid to these ghost employees since December.

It's yet another example of governance failure and wasteful expenditure by the state, he tells CapeTalk.

In his reply, he [Mbalula] basically said that these employees had not been referred to the Public Service and Administration Department to check whether they were already state employees somewhere else within the state administration and he indicated that their salaries hadn't been stopped.

Brett Herron, Secretary-general - Good Party

It's bewildering. The whole thing is bizarre and bewildering... There are huge management and leadership issues at Prasa. I don't understand how 3,000 people - if they exist - were added to the payroll but don't perform any tasks.

Brett Herron, Secretary-general - Good Party

If they discovered it in December and allowed the payments to continue... even if they are earning on average R20,000 per month gross income, we're talking almost half a billion that has been paid since December, by an entity that is struggling financially and suffering huge losses because of revenue loss because their trains aren't operating properly.

Brett Herron, Secretary-general - Good Party



9 May 2022 9:35 AM
Tags:
SCOPA
PRASA
Parliament
Brett Herron
Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
ghost workers

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