The United National Transport Union (UNTU) welcomes the decision of Mthuthuzeli Swartz, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to adhere to the demands of the Union, of over the past twenty months and remove Richard Walker from his position of Regional Head of PRASA in the Western Cape.
“Swartz indicated that he is serious in his attempts to bring about a complete turn-around of rail services to the benefit of our members, most of the employees working for the state-owned enterprise (SOE), and to the benefit of millions of commuters nationwide who are depending on a reliable service to get to and from work,” says Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU.
UNTU sees Richard Walker’s mismanagement of the rail services in the Western Cape as the reason why the notorious Central Line was suspended for more than five weeks and only resumed its operations this morning.
“We have repeatedly said in the past that Walker does not have the ability to implement preventative measures to prevent chaos from erupting at stations under his command when trains are delayed. He also had a total disregard for his responsibility in terms of labour legislation by providing his employees with a safe working environment.
“Previous attempts by PRASA’s top management to remove Walker have been blocked by the Acting PRASA Board. UNTU does however believe that the board realises that it is not allowed to interfere with daily operational requirements of the passenger rail agency. President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed with his State of the Nation address in Parliament that the boards of SOE’s will no longer have a say in the procurement of contracts or intervene in the day to day operations,” says Harris.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Media and Liaison Officer. For UNTU Press Statements phone 082 463 6806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org