Cash-strapped state bus company Autopax only able to pay staff half of their salaries
Cash-strapped state-owned bus company Autopax will not be able to pay full salaries to its 1,071 staff on Monday, acting CEO Tiro Holele announced on Saturday.
Autopax, which operates bus liners City to City and Translux, is a subsidiary of the limping state Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).
In the staff notice, seen by TimesLIVE, Holele lays bare the dire financial state of the company.
“On Monday we will unfortunately not be able to meet the full salary obligations for the month of January and have managed through the operation to collect some funds from fare revenue to pay you 50% of what is due,” he wrote.
He said that the balance of salaries would be paid on a date yet to be confirmed.
“Colleagues, we are still faced with serious operation challenges which have resulted in serious financial and cash flow shortages.”
He said that Autopax, as well as Prasa and the department of transport were seized with turning Autopax around to make it a functioning business which was sustainable.
The shock announcement follows the appointment of Bongisizwe Mpondo as administrator of Prasa in December.
He was installed by transport minister Fikile Mbalula after he fired the interim board in an attempt to “bring stability” to the rail entity.
Speaking in Cape Town this week, Mpondo said that Prasa too was in financial dire straits and was struggling to operate the rail service.
Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani confirmed the veracity of the circular and said that challenges at Prasa had filtered down to the subsidiary.
She said wide-reaching reforms were needed at Autopax to put it back on a sustainable financial footing.
Attempts to contact Holele, as well as department of transport spokesperson Ayanda Allie-Payne, were unsuccessful at the time of publishing.