prasaThe Star reports that thousands of Gauteng train passengers will pay for a R22million debt owed by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), which could have its assets, including trains, attached on Friday.  

The legal action could see thousands of commuters who depend on trains at Joburg’s Park Station daily becoming stranded as the entity’s coaches face possible seizure by the court.  Prasa was on Wednesday at the South Gauteng High Court, denied its appeal application seeking to overturn a September judgment allowing its assets to be attached for not paying service provider Mbita Consulting.  Mbita’s legal representatives claimed that following the ruling, which also delivered a costs order against Prasa, Park Station would come to a halt as the sheriff would stop the trains from moving should Prasa not pay up within 48 hours from Wednesday.  “We feel sorry for the passengers, but they would need to speak with Prasa because it has been defying court orders since 2015 to pay a contracted service provider.  We will also attach and remove computers, desks and other equipment from Umjantshi House (Prasa’s offices in the Joburg CBD),” said a member of Mbita’s legal team.  He went on to say:  “In fact, we will start in the finance department before the employees’ salaries are sent through ahead of next week’s pay day.  The employees will have to take that up with their leaders in Tshwane when they don’t get paid.  People have lost their jobs at Mbita and it’s time Prasa feels the pain.”  The R22m, which includes an annual 10% interest rate since November 2015, is for the cleaning services that Mbita provided for more than two dozen Prasa-owned train stations.

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