UNTUNews24 reports that the United National Transport Union (Untu) has disputed the statistics and successes announced by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday regarding the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa’s) war room.  

The war room was launched on 8 August, to improve the customer experience for daily train commuters.  Mbalula announced that a lot of progress had been made since the war room’s inception, but more still needed to be done.  He added that, while there were still many challenges, he was encouraged that plans have been put in place to resolve them.  However, Untu’s Steve Harris claimed there was "very little success so far", adding that train services in the Western Cape still experienced cancellations due to a lack of available trains.  In other cases, hour-long trips took up to three hours because of vandalism.  In KwaZulu-Natal, theft and vandalism were also the root causes why trains still experienced delays, while Gauteng was also experiencing the same trend, Harris indicated.  He added that the contracts of several private security companies were not renewed nationwide at the end of October and, as a result, “there were 400 less security officers on station platforms from November 1, 2019, endangering the lives of our members and innocent commuters even more."  He also said the union was busy drafting an affidavit for Judge Cassim Sardiwalla of the North Gauteng High Court.  Prasa has been operating under Sardiwalla's conditional court order since 12 October.

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