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Prasa says trains are running‚ union says strike 'going well'

Prasa said they have not had a major impact on service during Friday's strike
Prasa said they have not had a major impact on service during Friday's strike
Image: Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said a strike by unions over unsafe trains and poor service had not had a major impact on Friday.

"We are not affected by the strike as much as we are aware that there is a strike. Our services will run normally‚" Prasa spokesperson Daisy Daniel said.

Prasa said earlier that it would run a reduced train service during the day.

This after the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and the United National Transport Union (Untu) announced the strike on Wednesday.

Fedusa spokesperson Frank Nxumalo said they would protest against the "extremely poor and dangerous passenger train services that continue to violate all health and safety provisions as seen by perpetually late trains‚ deliberate acts of arson‚ and endless fatal accidents that have left many families traumatised and burdened with disciplinary action".

Untu's demands included:

The police fulfilling their constitutional mandate to protect citizens‚ "also when it comes to Prasa" For Prasa to be reintegrated with Transnet For Prasa to ensure a safe and healthy environment for employees The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) to exercise its statutory mandate independently from Prasa and Government to find alternative housing and move residents living within the safety reserve that is between 20m to 40m away from railroads. Fedusa's Maria Chonco said the strikes across the country were "going well". Marchers in Johannesburg were on their way to the department of transport to hand over their memorandum.

"We want the president of this country [Cyril Ramaphosa] to intervene because Prasa is in a dire state. We need safety for our workers‚ safety for commuters and whoever is using the trains. We also want Prasa to go back to Transet."

Minister of transport Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday said in Cape Town that commuter safety was "sacrosanct".

"We will not tolerate behaviour that places the lives of innocent women and children and other commuters at risk. This extends to the conduct of those who operate services and those who may be taking part in protest or labour action."

- TMG Digital.

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