Transport Minister Blade Nzimande Picture: ANA

Pretoria - Transport Minister Blade Nzimande on Monday appealed to both the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to find an out of court settlement in the interests of millions of commuters who daily use the Metrorail, in a stand off over safety.

The regulator issued Prasa with a notice of intention to suspend its safety permit after two Metrorail trains collided in Kempton Park last week, injuring at least 320 people. Prasa has since asked the High Court to invalidate the intended suspension of its operating permit.

In a statement, Nzimande said he had not yet received a report from the RSR on the Prasa railway asset condition assessment report and the condition of its rail network.

"I believe that both the boards of the RSR and Prasa are capable of resolving their impasse cordially in the best interest of all commuters. Such a decision must not negatively impact on the provision of safe and secure Metrorail operations," Nzimande said. 

The acting director-general of the department of transport is due to convene an urgent meeting between the chairpersons of Prasa and the RSR in Cape Town on Tuesday to try and find a resolution.

Nziande said he remained committed to the provision of a reliable, safe, effective, efficient and cost-effective public transport system.

African News Agency/ANA