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Satawu calls on the public to help protect 100 new locally built trains added to public transport fleet

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union said it has been very difficult for commuters as many routes are currently suspended as a result of cable theft and called for the protection of these new trains.

Satawu congratulate Prasa in partnership with Gibela for manufacturing 100 new local trains. Picture: Screen grab of video.

Published Jul 5, 2022


Durban - The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) celebrated the 100 electrical trains manufactured locally which will be added to the public transport fleet and called on the public to help protect them.

This comes after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula accepted delivery of the 100th new locally manufactured electric train on Monday from the state-contracted manufacturing company, Gibela.

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“We congratulate our members, workers, Gibela and Prasa for manufacturing Isitimela Sabantu. We wish to see more trains built and manufactured locally not just in South Africa but in Africa as a continent to boost our economy,” said the union.

Satawu general secretary Jack Mazibuko said this is a major milestone in the train and transport industry.

“We congratulate the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in partnership with Gibela for manufacturing these beautiful and safe trains,” he said.

Mazibuko said the union also celebrates South Africans for making history.

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“As we were celebrating the 100th set of Isitimela Sabantu in Ekurhuleni today the 4th of July 2022, hundreds of young people revealed that they were taken to different countries like Brazil and India for training and later came back to utilise the experience to build these trains from scratch. We need more of these skilled workers in the train sector,” he said.

He said the union was also pleased with job opportunities created for eligible young people who will continue building the trains for use across the country.

“We will continue supporting Prasa in creating job opportunities especially for young black women, in particular,” Mazibuko said.

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Satawu said Prasa is currently rebuilding railway stations throughout the country due to cable theft and vandalism.

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Mazibuko said this led to poor service delivery in the train sector for the public.

“We now call on our people to work with us in maintaining our infrastructure. It has been very difficult for our members, workers and commuters generally to travel as many routes are currently suspended due to technical faults caused by cable theft. We call on everyone to protect these new trains so we can be a better country,” he said.

Satawu also called on law-enforcement agencies to decisively deal with perpetrators who continue to steal and vandalise infrastructure.