Cape Town - The passenger rail agency of south Africa
(Prasa) has reported a loss of R1.019bn for the 2010/11 financial year.
Prasa reported a loss of R1.26bn in the previous financial
Prasa CEO Lucky Montana told parliament on Thursday that
passenger rail did not generate sufficient resources to recapitalise itself.
"Metrorail passengers are generally lower income
earners, which makes it difficult to increase ticket prices."
Prasa is the owner of the inter city passenger trains,
Metrorail as well as the long distance rail operators, Shoshaloza Meyl.
Prasa also operates
Intersite, a property management company and Autopax, which is a national
passenger bus service.
Montana said Prasa struggled with the high cost of operating
an old railway system with rolling stock older than 40 years on average.
He said the agency suffered a serious decline in rolling
stock availability and reliability in the past year.
"The result was a decline in passenger trips from 633
million in 2009/10 to 471 million in the past year."
He however, said the group remains positive, albeit with a
number of challenges.
"We have started rolling out our recapitalisation
programme as well as implementing a new signalling system. These projects will
take a number of years to complete."