- The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa announced that there is a discrepancy between how many employees are registered on their system and how many actually work there
- The discovery was made when Prasa asked its 17 000 registered employees to provide proof of qualifications and identity documents, and only 14 000 people showed up
- Leonard Ramatlakane said that he suspects some of the 14 000 actual employees have been receiving salaries marked for the ghost employees
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JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) announced on Tuesday (1 February) that there is a discrepancy between how many employees are registered on their system and how many actually work there.
The difference is 3 000 people, who they have referred to as "ghost workers." The discovery was made when Prasa asked its 17 000 registered employees to provide proof of qualifications and identity documents, and only 14 000 people showed up.
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Prasa has been paying all 17 000 registered employees their full salary every month, which could have lost them billions, TimesLIVE reports. However, Leonard Ramatlakane, a board member, said that he suspects some of the 14 000 actual employees have received salaries marked for the ghost employees.
What Prasa has discovered about the ghost workers
Prasa approached the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to ascertain who the ghost workers really are. With the DHA's assistance, Prasa discovered that 50 of the 3 000 ghost workers were foreigners who had obtained fake South African identity documents, which they used to register as Prasa employees.
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IOL reports that the 14 000 that confirmed they are qualified for their positions at Prasa will be subject to criminal record checks. This forms part of the rail agency's plan to eliminate corruption internally.
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“We are now in the process of consequence management. They will face charges of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act and contravention of the supply chain management procedure,” Ramatlakane said.
Reactions to Prasa's employment crisis
"I would not be surprised if the same is the case at other parastatals."
"How much was paid out to those ghosts since they went onto payroll? Why were these ghost employees never identified by auditors? Who is behind the ghosts?"
"Don't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe every government department should do an audit of their employees."
"This phenomenon is across all departments. Known fact."
"What a disgrace. The previous bosses should be prosecuted as theft happened under their watch."
Fikile Mbalula laments 'theft' of Prasa copper by scrap metal dealers
Speaking of Prasa, Briefly News recently reported that the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula emphasised that stiffer measures should be enforced to deal with scrap metal dealers in Gauteng.
He made the comments at the site of several raids amid a joint search-and-seizure operation between law enforcement and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in the province on Thursday, citing drastic steps would need to be taken to "close the tap at the source."
Tons of copper were recovered, spurring Mbalula to stress that laws must be tightened to clamp down on scrap dealers. He warned that while the element of surprise was vital to catch those who are a party to the illicit business, a strong message needed to be sent.
Source: Briefly News