Three men, one of whom is ticket examiner, have been arrested for allegedly defrauding Metrorail by producing counterfeit train tickets. File photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - Metrorail's fare increase in the Western Cape is going ahead despite Cosatu's threat to strike, the rail company said on Wednesday.

“Metrorail has always been open about its need to increase its revenue through ticket sales,” regional manager Richard Walker said.

“The cost of operating the business has soared due to the increase in the cost of energy, personnel, maintenance material, safety-critical and statutory compliance which account for the bulk of the region's expenses.”

According to Metrorail's website the price of train tickets would increase on July 1.

“The cost of single tickets increases by 50 cents, return tickets by R1. Weekly ticket increases range between R3 and R7 while monthly tickets increase between R7 and R30,” it said in a statement on its website.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape urged Metrorail to delay increasing its fares until its services had improved.

Earlier, the trade union federation said it intended to strike to pressure Metrorail not to increase its fares.

“Cosatu has referred the date for the proposed action to Nedlac in terms of section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, for authorisation which will ensure this is a protected strike and covers members and non-members of the federation,” provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said.

Walker said it would take around 20 years to finalise Prasa's modernisation programme.

Prasa rail's five point operational efficiency plan focused on immediate, short and longer term improvements.

“The fare increase will support the region's most immediate goal to introduce visible and short-term improvements, many of which are already under way,” he said.

“Cosatu's call for Metrorail to not increase fares... is unsubstantiated and not an economical fact since the increases are calculated with workers' livelihoods in mind.”

The Prasa board approved the increase in line with the Consumer Price Index.