Prasa slammed over delays after thousands left stranded in Gauteng
Pretoria - The United Commuter Voice (UCV) has criticised Prasa for leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
The pro-commuter body said Metrorail was expected to reinstate normal services but, to commuters’ dismay, certain corridors were not operational due to theft and vandalism.
United Commuter Voice blamed this on a failure to protect Prasa assets, stemming from a decision to release its security companies in October last year.
This was the decision of the axed board of Prasa which believed internal security would be sufficient to protect critical infrastructure.
During the festive season Prasa closed down Germiston and Pretoria stations to upgrade the signalling system.
United Commuter Voice general-secretary Phumulani Ndlovu said: “We were shocked that during that closure the assets were vandalised more, while the private security that was fired had won a court case that said they must be returned to posts. Commuters are without service in Daveyton, Springs-Johannesburg, Pretoria-Johannesburg, Mabopane-Pretoria- Belle Ombre, DeWildt, Naledi-West gate, Naledi- Faraday-George Goch, Springs-Nigel.
Other routes to suffer delays are Saulsville, Pienaarspoort, Hercules-Koedoespoort, Kwesine, Tembisa, and Germiston-Johannesburg.
“We are requesting the administrator to focus on a speedy recovery programme for the closed corridors and the reinstatement of service in all areas as the train is an affordable mode of transport for the poor who have to travel distances to get to work,” he said.
Prasa tenants at stations that are not getting trains were also losing business and this would affect workers and their ability to make a living.
“The security issue at Prasa has to be addressed as the corridors cannot be fixed to be vandalised again and the safety of commuters on trains must be a priority,” Ndlovu added.
Prasa spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said the situation was being addressed and commuters would be updated soon.
Meanwhile, Shosholoza Meyl has confirmed that one of its trains has been stuck in Prince Albert in the Western Cape since Monday night due to locomotive failure.
Passengers on the train, which left Joburg on Sunday and was due in Cape Town on Monday, were yesterday being ferried by bus and were due in Cape Town last night.