Minister Dipuo Peters. (Photo: GCIS)

Nazir Alli has been named the chairperson of the new interim board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters today announced the new interim board members. Alli brings with him 18 years of experience as the CEO of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).

Other interim board members include former transport department spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso, former general-secretary of the National Union of Minerworkers Frans Baleni, Xolile George from South African Local Government Association, Constance Maleho from the Department of Transport, Natalie Skeepers, Ronny Mkhwanazi, and a National Treasury representative.


Dissolution of the board

This comes after the Prasa board was dissolved by Peters on grounds of on-going governance challenges, with an inquiry to be launched to explore these challenges.

“My pronouncement to dissolve the former board of Prasa was a necessary step to bring the matter to closure, but also to ensure that I restore good corporate governance, ensure stability, and ensure Prasa continues to provide services to the South African public,” Peters said at her announcement of the new interim board.

Peters explained that she had directed the former board to investigate perceived corruption within the organisation, particularly with regard to the auditor general, public protector and other reports. Peters said she had expressed concern over the long and protracted investigation which seemed endless and without a clear scope and specific end objective.

Prasa’s acting CEO Collins Letsoalo was also removed from his position by the minister after allegations emerged that he has awarded himself a 350% salary hike, leading to his dismissal by the then Prasa board. At the time Letsoalo refused to leave his position at the parastatal, arguing that only the transport minister could remove him from his post. Letsoala maintains no wrongdoing on his part.