Prasa trains hit more technical problems – they only speak Spanish

Prasa’s Afro 4000 train woes continue in the aftermath of one of the locomotives derailing.

According to a report by the City Press, officials are having a difficult time figuring out what exactly went wrong – because the trains only ‘communicate’ in Spanish.

Prasa was in the hot seat after it was reported that the Afro 4000 trains, purchased from Spanish manufacturer Vossloh Espana on a contract worth R3.5 billion, were too high for South African rail lines.

The contract is for 70 locomotives, 13 of which have already been delivered at a cost of over R600 million.

After dismissing concerns about the specifications, Prasa reported in mid-August that an 11-carriage train lead by one of the new locomotives had derailed.

A preliminary report into the incident highlighted that information drawn from the train’s data logger was presented in Spanish, and could not be analysed.

According to the City Press, technicians from Vossloh Espana are now in the country to address this and mechanical problems experienced by two other trains.

Prasa has denied the report.

Prasa problems

The Afro 4000 issue at Prasa brought the company into the spotlight and, among other consequences, lead to CEO Lucky Montana being sacked.

Following an investigation into the organisation, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found evidence of widespread maladministration and impropriety in the awarding of tenders worth R2.8 billion.

The report found that Montana had acted in breach of the Constitution and improperly on a number of dodgy deals at the company.

DA leader Mmusi Maimaine has laid a case of fraud and corruption against the former Prasa boss.

You can read the full story in the 30 August 2015 edition of the City Press.

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Prasa trains hit more technical problems – they only speak Spanish