Union concerned at Prasa's readiness to resume services

Union concerned at Prasa's readiness to resume services

The United National Transport Union (UNTU) remains unconvinced over Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) readiness to resume limited train services from Wednesday.

Prasa News Train_supplied

The union says it has received numerous reports of serious problems at Prasa.

UNTU's acting general-secretary, John Pereira says Prasa did not have time to attend to all the neglected areas since its COVID-19 budget was only approved last week.

"In Durban, UNTU members reported that their Prasa cell phones have once again been suspended to non-payment of the network services.

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"This makes it difficult for the Umlazi-Durban-KwaMashu route to resume as the lack of signals and the use of manual authorisations took two and a half hours last week."

Pereira says members have also complained about a lack of protective gear. 

"They were not issued with facial masks but were given a can of 5 litres of sanitiser to sanitise employees resuming their duties tomorrow and to sanitise commuters.

"Several stations and platforms on the Umlazi route have not been cleaned for weeks after the contracts of the cleaning company was not renewed," says Pereira.

Some stations are also without running water while others have blocked toilets.

But Pereira believes the Pretoria-Pienaarspoort route seems ready to resume services. 

He says it is crucial for the South African economy that Prasa resume its train services as it is the cheapest form of transport for millions of workers.

"UNTU calls on all commuters and communities to assist with the fight against vandalism and theft of Prasa infrastructure and to report any incidents."

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