NEWS & ANALYSIS

Govt & Metrorail must stop playing politics with commuter lives – COSATU

Federation says 100 extra security police must be rolled out urgently and PRASA must honour commitment to fund this step

COSATU calls on government and Metrorail to stop playing politics with commuter’s lives 

11 September 2018

COSATU is very concerned about the attacks on the train system and commuters that have left many people dead and many of the trains completely burnt. This situation has led to the train service capacity being substantially reduced. This service has gone from 18 months ago at just 49 sets, this is a long way away from the 124 sets required to run a full capacity service.

The service levels have declined and the number of people using the service has declined. This means that the roads are more overcrowded with private cars; taxi and busses are more overcrowded. The agencies responsible for coordinating transport have been of little help in responding to this crisis, they have been blaming each other instead.

This is the best way to hide their own incompetence in this situation and try and get public support. There will clearly be no big bang response to fixing the problems, so incremental steps are needed to fix the system.

The 100 extra security police must be rolled out urgently and PRASA must honour the commitment to the funding of this step. The City of Cape Town must be forced to make a contribution to the transport needs of the people of the Cape Flats and South East Metro. This should be done to ensure that they also provide the same standard that they are providing to the West Coast corridor of Millerton and surrounds.

The wanton destruction of the Metrorail infrastructure must be examined and extensive intelligence work done. Some of the options of beneficiaries to reduced train capacity are the following; the taxi industry gets more customers when the trains are destroyed. The City of Cape Town should send My City bus service to these areas where trains are reduced. We reject the biasness and the preference Zille showed to the old white areas, when rolling out present My City busses.

The PRASA people profiting from the delivery of new trains get more money when the old trains are destroyed. The citizens of Cape Town want the train capacity to be improved because it is the low cost transport service that they can afford. The subsidies of trains are important to maintain in place because it undoes the apartheid spatial planning that put black workers far from their jobs.

COSATU therefore demands urgent actions to the crisis in Metrorail and expect answers to the questions in the Nedlac section 77 discussions underway.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 11 September 2018