File picture

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Thursday said it was "deeply saddened" by the fatal injury of a 59-year-old rail worker whose maintenance railroad vehicle collided with depot and maintenance equipment.

The Gautrain worker, who died on Wednesday, was a member of Numsa.

"We want to say to Gautrain management that it cannot be business as usual," said Numsa acting spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola. 

"A worker died on the job and this has naturally left many workers at Gautrain unsettled. We have called for an urgent meeting with management to discuss this breach of health and safety standards which led to the unfortunate death of a worker."

Numsa is demanding that the Railway Safety Regulator conducts a thorough investigation.

"We must know what measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all workers. It is vital that we get assurances that this incident will not happen again."

Hlubi-Majola said Numsa has sent "its deepest condolences and sympathies" to the family and friends of the employee. 

"They have lost a loved one and breadwinner for the family," lamented Hlubi-Majola. 

"We have instructed our officials to do all they can to provide them with the necessary emotional support. Furthermore, we will be assisting the family to claim benefits from the company."

African News Agency/ANA