The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) says it expects to finalise a turnaround strategy by July and will approach independent experts in the interim on its plans to reduce costs and improve services. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Prasa’s new passenger train service in Pretoria on Tuesday, acting CEO Lindikhaya Zide said the recent downgrades of SA’s sovereign credit ratings by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch might affect the state-owned entity. Prasa expected to proceed with a multibillion-rand modernisation and recapitalisation programme as it envisaged that it would reduce operational expenditure, Zide said. Prasa is undergoing a R173bn modernisation programme, which it has used as the core of a proposed turnaround plan that aims to address years of financial losses, declining fare revenue and poor service. The agency posted a R312m loss in 2015-16, a decrease from R1bn the previous year, and has endured years of management and board turmoil and high levels of irregula...

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