Today's Labour News

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prasaGroundUp reports on a damning letter from Ernest Hendricks, Western Cape regional security manager for the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), to the Prasa executive in Johannesburg detailing the breakdown of security on Cape Town’s central railway line.  

The letter of 31 May 2017 describes in detail the problems with the security system, which has led to vandalism, cable theft, train delays and unsafe conditions on trains.  Among the many problems identified was that private security contractors were not performing and trains have been set alight where security guards were deployed.  Prasa had “suffered huge losses” as a result.  The relationship with the Railway Police had “soured”.  There was no joint deployment, no joint operations, no police visibility on trains, no police visits to stations or depots, a reluctance to open case dockets or to arrest suspects, and police intimidation of Prasa staff.  Hendricks said police did not prioritise incidents on the railways but only worked on reported crimes.  Trains were said to have become “easy targets to criminals”.  Asked to comment, Prasa said “it is important that we thoroughly investigate the allegations made in the letter.  Prasa will then be able to comment with facts on the issue.”  The Railway Police, who report to the SA Police Service, did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Read this exclusive report by Zoë Postman in full at GroundUp

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