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Prasa Disputes Competition Commission’s Reasoning

EWN

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Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on Friday disputed the reasons cited by the Competition Commission for its prosecution.

The commission has referred Prasa to its tribunal for prosecution for abusing its dominance.

The agency’s administrator and spokesperson Makhosini Mgitywa briefed the media on a number of matters concerning the railway agency.

The Competition Commission said its investigations found that Prasa had been charging excessive prices for the use of Park Station.

It said the railway agency had been favouring its subsidiary Autopax in space allocation and had restricted or denied access to operators who were Autopax’s competitors.

The commission said Prasa was the sole owner of terminal stations in the country like Park Station.

But Mgitywa said this was simply not true.

“Prasa is not the sole provider of intermodal facilities as that is a function of local authorities who have several formal and informal intermodal facilities, which can be used.”

The commission said its investigation found Prasa’s conduct constituted an abuse of its dominant position as having the only terminal facility in Johannesburg, which was in contravention of the Competition Act.

PRASA STOPS OPERATIONS AFTER FATAL CRASH

At the same time, Prasa has minimised operations at its mainline passenger services following a deadly collision in Roodeport.

One person was killed when a Transnet locomotive collided with a Prasa train last week.

After the fatal crash last week, the Railway Safety Regulator instructed Prasa to discontinue the services of the mainline passenger services.

Mgitywa said they have complied: “We plan to cease all operations by close of business today, which is 21 February 2020.”

He said they were trying to find an intervention plan together with the regulator.

“The plan addresses the immediate risk with manual train authorisations, driver behaviour and other underlying security issues and infrastructure.”

The spokesperson said they had communicated with affected passengers and refunds were being processed

EWN

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