- Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa said 3000 ghost workers are still earning a salary from the company
- Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula earlier told parliament that the salaries were stopped in December
- A forensic investigation was tasked to uncover the ghost workers through a campaign called, “Operation Ziveze”
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CAPE TOWN - The 3000 Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) suspected ghost workers are still earning a salary according to Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula. He earlier told parliament that the salaries were stopped in December.
Mbalula told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the existence of ghost workers was a “grand scam”. However, the transport minister changed his tune and said an internal audit process will be conducted.
In March he said they were costing Prasa about R4 billion to repair damaged infrastructure. Mbalula said a forensic investigation was tasked to uncover the ghost workers through a campaign called, “Operation Ziveze.” Other methods to block salaries will also be implemented. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) or the Hawks will be tasked to recover the salaries on behalf of Prasa, SABC News reported.
He was questioned by Member of Parliament from the GOOD Party Brett Herron about the ghost workers and said due to the internal process not being finalised, the list of names has not been seen by the Department of Public Service and Administration.
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According to IOL, the minister said Prasa is auditing and confirming the unidentified individuals.
Social media outraged over ghost workers
South Africans are irate following Mbalula’s remarks regarding the ghost workers:
Lovisto Maji said:
“This man is fooling citizens kept howling this while they gave powers to get the ghosts.”
Stefaans Top wrote:
“While people are unemployed you comrades are hiring ghost employees or are you just looting like you normally do.”
Nhlayisi Ndubane posted:
“Apparently, his brother is a beneficiary of such scams in spheres of government.”
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Tee Reds commented:
“There is no such thing as "ghost employees" find out who’s receiving and cashing those cheques it's not a ghost, but fraud.”
Thabani T-Man Shandu added:
“Incompetent Government this was picked months ago they still allow state funds to go to dubious people.”
Prasa estimates 3 000 employees on payroll do not exist, working to clean up workforce
In a related matter, Briefly News also reported 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.
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.
Source: Briefly News