Three days after the United National Transport Union (UNTU) informed South Africans that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s so-called “war rooms” to date, had zero impact on ground level, another 41 commuters got hurt.
Three train coaches of train T3202 derailed on the Northern line at Bellville Station at 06:00 today injuring 41 commuters.
“Although no commuters were seriously injured, this derailment could have been prevented had President Cyril Ramaphosa kept to the personal promise he made to UNTU in front of several media houses on 10 April 2019, a month prior to the election.
“The President gave a personal undertaking to consider UNTU’s demands about the safety of the passenger rail commuters; its members working for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and finding solutions on how to rebuild the ruined state-owned enterprise (SOE).
Sonja Carstens, Deputy General Secretary of UNTU, informed the President that UNTU has written several letters to him over recent years about the state of Prasa that he has not responded to. The last letter was sent to his office on the 29 January 2019 in which the Union pleaded with the President to immediately step in to save Prasa,” says Harris.
On 26 July 2019 UNTU members participated in four protest marches in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria after the steering committee of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) granted the Union a Section 77 certificate, as it agreed that the President’s intervention is needed to save Prasa.
Although the representative of the Presidency who accepted the memorandum on his behalf at the Union Building promised to respond to UNTU’s demands, to date neither Ramaphosa nor his Minister have responded.
“UNTU is once again pleading with the President to act. PRASA is blatantly being allowed to play Russian Roulette with the lives of people nationwide daily,” says Harris.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Media, Liaison and Communication Officer. For UNTU press statements phone 082 463 6808 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org