Lead PRASA engineer’s qualifications questioned

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 8, 2015

The lead Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) engineer involved with the designing of the controversial R600-million Afro 4000 diesel locomotives reportedly had his application as a member of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) revoked in 2006.

According to Beeld, PRASA Head of Engineering, Dr Daniel Mtimkulu, failed to submit training and test results to the ESCA as proof that he worked at a registered engineering firm over a certain period.

The council revealed that Mtimkulu’s qualifications at the time were a BTech degree and National Diploma, which would have allowed him to only register as a professional engineering technologist, when the minimum requirements for a professional engineer called for either a BSc-degree or BEng-degree with three years’ experience.

Mtimkulu’s claims that he studied engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) before receiving a PhD in Germany, has also been questioned after the university’s registration office, when contacted by the paper, found no history of him having ever registered as a student.

PRASA Spokesperson, Moffet Mofokeng, has however stated that Mtimkulu’s qualifications were real and that his PhD had not been faked.

The latest allegations comes after weekend media reported that the roofs of 13 Spanish built locos, which form part of R3.5-billion order for 70 similar, exceed the minimum height limits for diesel units and that the rail operator opted to ignore the fault despite being aware of it.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, PRASA CEO Lucky Montana said the findings were nothing but lies as none of the locomotives were reported as having come into contact with overhead wires or tunnels during their three month testing period.

“We meet the safety standards. We have bought one of the best locomotives in the world and we are not even apologetic about that,” Montana said.

 

IMAGE sourced from Wikimedia

 

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