Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has revealed that 1159 employees at PRASA have resigned following the announcement of an employee verification process aimed at identifying ghost employees at the state’s passenger rail agency. Mbalula says a preliminary investigation has revealed incidents of identity theft, submission of fraudulent qualifications, as well as employees with serious criminal offences.
Mbalula says R200 million has been saved since the implementation of project Ziveze over the last 10 months. He says the findings point to a collapse in management at the passenger rail agency.
“The investigation concluded that the root cause of these findings is incorrect data capturing of employee information, resulting in a corrupted employee database, weaknesses in the PRASA’s ICT system, weaknesses in PRASA’s internal control environment. The undertaking of this project was affected by a number of challenges which necessitated additional interventions, and involvement of other state organs. These include resistance by employees whose fingerprints and photo ID verifications raised red flags,” Mbalula.
He says a forensic investigation will be conducted at PRASA. He says interventions will include the installation of a digital fingerprint and a photo identity verification process with the assistance of the Home Affairs Department.
“The completion of this exercise will then enable PRASA to freeze the salaries of those flagged. Digitisation of files and supporting documents, clean-up of the employee database, employees who submitted fraudulent qualifications will be served with letters to explain themselves within 48 hours from Monday, failing which stricter action will be taken in line with the applicable prescripts. Criminal charges will be laid against those who have committed fraud,” Mbalula added.
Mbalula announced that the Chief Financial Officer and the Head of Information Communication Technology at PRASA have also been suspended.
VIDEO: Minister of Transport briefs on the investigations into Ghost Employees at Prasa [embedded content]
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)