Today's Labour News

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metrorail thumb medium90 92Weekend Argus reports that as Metrorail’s woes continue to hit train commuters hard, calls for the rail system to be declared a disaster have been amplified ahead of national elections in May.  

Civil society group #UniteBehind has vowed to embark on demonstrations to force President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande to make the declaration so that the failed rail system can be fixed.  Ramaphosa unveiled two new trains with much fanfare in Cape Town last week and promised a punctual, safer and more convenient service.  A total of 35 new trains will be rolled out by the end of next year.  But frustrated commuters were unconvinced as they continued to experience delays with the service.  “We are giving the president, Minister Nzimande and the ANC notice that #UniteBehind will embark on peaceful and radical action to demand that a disaster be declared before election day,” warned the organisation’s Zackie Achmat.  Political parties have put forward proposals to revive the country’s rail system as a priority in ensuring that the public transport runs smoothly.  But, commuters say promises do not offer solutions to the immediate problems.  Professor Marianne Vanderschuren from UCT’s Africa Centre for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport commented:  “We cannot let the rail system collapse.  It is important we rehabilitate the rail and its infrastructure and to do so we should think outside the box in terms of what could assist us.”

  • Read the full original of Tshego Lepule’s report in the above regard at Weekend Argus


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