Today's Labour News

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prasaCity Press reports that arson attacks on trains have cost the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) R636-million in the last three and a half years.  

Most of the losses were recorded in the Western Cape, which experienced 71% of the total attacks leading to R451-million in losses.  Even more appalling has been the total number of coaches vandalised in 2017/18 alone, with the figure currently standing at 1,496 coaches.  These shocking statistics were shared with the Portfolio Committee on Transport on Tuesday by Prasa, as the state-owned enterprise’s board and management briefed the committee on some of the strategies it intended on employing in dealing with the plague of train arson attacks.  Board chairperson, Khanyisile Kweyama, likened train arson attacks to “a national security threat” and urged the State Security Agency to intervene and assist with intelligence gathering, investigation and identifying the threat.  It was also revealed that Prasa’s passenger numbers had almost halved in the last four years, dropping from 543m commuters in 2013/14 to 269m regular users in 2017/18.  The “root cause for the drop in commuters, commuter backlash and possible burning of trains is delays and cancellations,” said Kweyama.  Prasa CE Sibusiso Sithole also fingered the lack of trains, which has decreased from 288 sets in 2013/14 to 200 by the end of 2017/18, as another cause for concern for the passenger rail agency.  It was agreed that Prasa needed to utilise modern technology in order to inform passengers in advance of possible delays so as to alleviate the frustration faced by commuters.

  • Read this report by Junior Khumalo in full at City Press

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