metrorail thumb medium90 92GroundUp reports that after a train driver was stoned while on duty, the United National Transport Union (Untu) accused the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) of failing to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for employees.  

According to a statement released by Untu on Tuesday, Nonhlanhla Dlamini was the driver of a train from Durban to Stanger on Tuesday when commuters asked her to stop.  She refused went on to the usual stop at Briardene Station.  Furious commuters then surrounded the cabin and started stoning her.  Dlamini was hit on the head and ear by stones and had to be treated in hospital for her injuries.  “I used to love my job. But it has become so dangerous that I don’t know if I will return home alive to see my children.  It is also not the first time this has happened to me.  For me and other Prasa employees assault has become a daily occurrence,” Dlamini claimed.  Untu spokesperson Sonja Carstens said they routinely warned train crews that commuters often believed that drivers were responsible for train delays.  “In this case they wanted her to stop unauthorised in the middle of the route and she cannot do that. That would not only be endangering her life, but that of the commuters, and she would be immediately dismissed,” Carstens pointed out.  A Prasa spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the driver had been relieved of her duties to attend the employee assistance programme for counselling.

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