‘Broken’ Prasa wants to offer workers severance packages

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‘Broken’ Prasa wants to offer workers severance packages

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) worker. Archive picture: Ashraf Hendricks

‘They need to use the Covid-19 cowl to eliminate workers, however these fingered in a variety of studies for corruption are nonetheless employed,’ a senior supervisor stated.

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt the “damaged” Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) a crippling blow of an estimated R199 million in income losses since April, with the determine estimated to escalate to R757 million for the remainder of the 12 months.

Administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo stated the loss was largely within the rail division of the company which, he stated, amounted to at the least R70 million month-to-month revenue.

He stated this got here at a time when the company was working at a loss, with the final revenue made in 2014, and that Prasa’s bills exceeded its revenue.

“Over the previous 10 years, now we have seen a gradual and sharp decline in fare income which has necessitated a rise within the working subsidy.

“On the opposite hand, our bills have elevated unabated. From this one can glean that the organisation was all the time confronted with an unavoidable money crunch in some unspecified time in the future,” Mpondo stated.

He stated the cash-strapped rail company was additionally in talks with labour about voluntary severance packages to shed greater than 2,000 workers, nearly all of whom had been over 55 years outdated and shut to retirement.

Giving an replace on the progress of his turnaround technique on Wednesday, Mpondo stated the voluntary retrenchment would doubtlessly save Prasa up to R869 million.

“There are a variety of points that we’re trying into for value reducing. Prasa income has not been ready to cowl its bills… What now we have issued to the unions are invites for a dialog… We haven’t issued [voluntary retrenchment packages] but,” he stated.

According to Mpondo, this could be a voluntary course of the place workers would have choices, however {that a} later evaluation would decide how that course of would unfold.

“It is a dialog we’re having with organised labour…that 2,029 of our 14,000 or so workforce is over age of 55. So, we’re taking a look at these shut to retirement, taking a look at these not in important positions. It is a standards we’re placing to labour,” stated Mpondo.

The United National Transport Union (Untu) stated Mpondo had requested them to provide him with dates to talk about providing voluntary packages in its place to attainable retrenchments.

But a senior supervisor at Prasa stated workers weren’t given a lot of a alternative however to take the packages, saying this was unfair because it was the establishment that was broke and never the staff.

“Now, they need to use the Covid-19 cowl to eliminate workers, however these fingered in a variety of studies for corruption are nonetheless employed,” the insider stated.

Meanwhile, Mpondo stated they had been gearing up for resumption of providers, however stated this has been scuppered by money constraints to present frontline employees with private protecting tools.

He stated the transport division was but to reply to its request for a R100 million help package deal, saying the delay within the response would delay the resumption of providers.

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live at 2020-05-08 10:38:16

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