UNTUThe Citizen reports that the United National Transport Union (Untu) has called for the suspension of train services as a measure to derail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.  

The union noted that there were between 300 and 400 commuters on trains during peak hour, and they were in some cases crammed into carriages, a clear violation that went against the health department’s calls against the gathering of more than 100 people.  Untu’s Steve Harris pointed out that it was the poorest of the poor who used the trains, and while Prasa initially planned to provide operational staff with face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers, these were subject to availability.  He said Prasa had woken up too late, and it was the people who would suffer.  The union urged Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to pause train services until 14 April.  Harris also said that while Prasa and Transnet had responded with action at corporate level, there was little to poor implementation at operational levels, which meant the pandemic would have a devastating impact on commuters.

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