The Gautrain passes the highway on its way to Park Station, Johannesburg, from Pretoria. Picture Chris Collingridge.
The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) has rubbished public comments made by a commuter who said he was being forced to buy a new card.

This was after Alec Wainwright said that recently, on boarding the Gautrain, he was informed that he had to purchase the latest-look Gautrain card.

“This in itself is a rip-off because the original cards function perfectly. Nonetheless we did so and requested that our substantial deposits in the original cards be transferred to the new Gautrain cards.

"We were informed that this is impossible; yet another rip-off. We were also told that we could only obtain a refund through the internet. We attempted to do so but failed.”

Wainwright said a friend lost his entire deposit because of the “spurious” pretext that he had not ridden on the Gautrain in three years.

GMA spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said as long as the existing gold cards were valid, people could continue using them. Only when they expired would they have to buy the new-look card.

She added that the refunds could be obtained at the stations as long as the passengers had the correct documentation and identification. This took about seven to 14 days. If done via the internet, no documents were needed and it took between three and five working days.

She confirmed that passengers would lose their money if they hadn’t used the train for more than three years.

The new cards, she added, had been introduced for a “new, updated look”.

The Star