Shosholoza Meyl soon back on track
Johannesburg - Long-distance rail operator Shosholoza Meyl will be back on track by end-November after a three-month dispute with the state-owned Transnet saw its services suspended.
"Shosholoza Meyl... announces the re-instatement of its train service and the reviewed schedule which will be fully implemented end of November 2010," the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Bookings for December and January for the chartered train service were already open.
"In the past weeks we had to reduce a number of our trains due to, amongst others, the unreliability of locomotives which inconvenienced our passengers to a large extent," said Shosholoza Meyl head Paul Zikhali in the statement.
"We managed to refocus our services in response to the identified customer demands. The reviewed schedule offers services to all corridors maximising capacity on all trains to ensure that no train runs empty."
Prasa suspended the Shosholoza Meyl service on August 13.
While Transnet accused Prasa of owing it around R1.3bn, Prasa's CEO, Lucky Montana, in turn accused Transnet of charging too much and doing a poor job in maintaining its locomotives.
Shosholoza Meyl was transferred from Transnet to Prasa early last year.
In its annual financial report, Prasa said it had "inherited from Transnet a business that was poorly-managed, neglected and whose financial management systems and internal controls were non-existent and certainly did not meet acceptable record keeping principles".
The two parties held discussions alongside government ministers last month in an effort to resolve the dispute, after which role players said the differences had now been "ironed out".