File picture: Bongani Shilulbane/African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament - Critical staff would not participate in Friday's planned strike action by Metrorail workers, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday.

At a media briefing in Cape Town, Mbalula said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has put in place contingencies to ensure disruptions to the Metrorail service are at a minimum after the United National Transport Union (Untu) was granted permission to go on strike on Friday.

"There are no train drivers who are involved in the strike, that we need to be clear about...critical staff will not be taking part in the strike," the minister said.

"I don't have the numbers of how many workers are going on strike but we are ready in terms of the workplace situation, through PRASA, to address any anomaly that would actually arise out of the strike should it actually degenerate into something else, violent or whatever so the law enforcement agencies and our security complement is ready for it."

UNTU are demanding, among others, that measures are introduced to protect staff, who have come under attack, and a plan to ensure an end to the breakdown in services which has led to delays and people being laid off as a result of constantly being late for work.

African News Agency (ANA)