Metrorail will have a tough time explaining away the two commuter train accidents in the Witwatersrand yesterday.
No one died. But about 300 commuters were injured when one train rear-ended another in Lenasia and two collided head-on in Springs.
Since the days of manual signals two centuries ago, train systems all around the world have been devised to prevent collisions. So collisions involving four Metrorail commuter trains within 12 hours in this digital age are plainly unacceptable.
We see a pattern in these all-too-frequent events: a Metrorail train is involved in an accident, commuters are injured, the company flacks emerge to suppress information until the inevitable inquiry is completed, nothing is ever heard from them until the next accident.
Then the process is repeated at the next accident.
Clearly the commuter rail company's managers cannot provide citizens a safe and efficient service.
They have failed to tell us what caused the string of accidents we have witnessed around the country over the past few years and have failed to prevent new ones.
We need a zero-tolerance policy. Local managers should be suspended after any commuter rail accident and reinstated only after being cleared by an independent inquiry.