DA calls for board and Chairperson Ramatlakane to appear before parliament over PRASA Luxury home controversy 

Issued by Chris Hunsinger MP – DA Shadow Minister of Transport
12 Mar 2023 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Chris Hunsinger MP

The DA calls on the new Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga, and the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to be summoned to appear before Parliament’s portfolio Committee to provide answers on the alleged abuse of Prasa owned property.

This comes after it has emerged that Prasa chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane may be living in one of the embattled state-owned entity’s properties in Newlands, Cape Town, while his own home is being renovated.

Prasa reportedly spent R2.5 million remodelling the Newlands home so that company leaders could stay there when travelling on business without having to pay for hotel rooms, according to reports. Ramatlakane and the Prasa board should provide details regarding who authorised this misuse of property for personal gain as well as whether or not the occupation should be disclosed to South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) as a fringe benefit.

The organisation Prasa has suffered significant financial losses over the past few years, and the Auditor General’s most recent audit opinion paints a picture of an organisation that cannot account for how its funds are spent.

The DA acknowledges the Prasa board’s decision to launch an internal investigation but demands for Ramatlakane to be suspended pending the inquiry’s conclusion.

Accountability is a hallmark of a functioning Democracy, so the legislature has a duty to act quickly to stop such egregious misuse of taxpayer money.