We welcome the results from Operation Ziveze, an investigation launched by PRASA last year into the discovery of ghost workers.
About 1,159 “employees” vanished from the payroll system of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) in a single day when the parastatal launched the investigation.
The disappearance of these people saved PRASA R200m in salaries that were paid to people who were earning salaries but not doing any work for the agency. Prasa also noticed that its salary bill had dropped by R20m a month during the investigations. Those who vanished included the lowest paid worker up to assistant managers. A total of 3,000 employees failed to present themselves for the verification process.
The investigation was conducted with the support of Home Affairs, the South African Revenue Service, Umalusi, and the South African Qualifications Authority. The Special Investigating Unit has been brought in to investigate as PRASA believed that those who resigned could be working with someone inside the company. Those within and outside PRASA responsible for the creation and payment of these ghost workers must fully account for this act of corruption.
As we prepare to observe the annual United Nations’ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day on the 9th December which aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it, we encourage law enforcement agencies to act with the necessary speed to unleash the full might of the law on those intent on stealing public funds.