Prasa’s missing billions

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has incurred R13.9 billion in irregular expenditure and 142 contracts worth R24 billion are being investigated for corruption.

Acting Prasa CEO Collins Letsoalo said it was a collapse of controls at Prasa which led to the financial mess – a mess which is threatening the company’s sustainability.

“It was also a sheer disregard of procurement rules, regulations, and the law. This summarises what happened at Prasa over the last few years,” said Letsoalo.

Prasa executives faced parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts regarding the issue, but it was clear there was still not enough accountability.

“How many people have been arrested so far? How many cases are concluded? Because since you started, a lot of investigations have been going on but there’s no conclusion,” said MPs.

Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza told parliament they have started investigating four of the over 140 cases referred to it by Prasa.

The DA said it will request the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to summon the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, to present a plan on how she will hold all relevant parties accountable.

The more pressing question, however, is: Where is the money?

Speaking to Business Day TV, David Shapiro, deputy chairman at Sasfin Securities, said an enormous amount of money has been spent without any idea of where it has gone.

“Has it gone to Porches, Lamborghinis, or a new house? Where is the money?” asked Shapiro.

“You know how many students we can educate on R14 billion,” he stated.

Now read: Guptas deny trying to capture R51 billion Prasa tender

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Prasa’s missing billions