Press Statement dated 9 January 2019

The Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) is dismayed about the fatal train crash in Mountain View, north of Pretoria, on 8 January 2018 that has already claimed the lives of three commuters and left more than 620 others injured.

The PSA described the accident as preventable had the necessary measures been in place. “The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is tasked with ensuring the safety and security of commuters. It, however, seems to be common knowledge that safety measures on this busy line are insufficient and have been faulty for some time. PRASA and the Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, should be held accountable for this tragedy that was waiting to happen,” said PSA General Manager, Ivan Fredericks.

The PSA is equally and outraged that such incidents occurs when huge amounts of money are injected, according to the Minister. “This is unfortunately not an isolated incident and urgent, decisive steps need to be taken to address the scourge of cable theft and commuter safety in general as millions of people depend on this mode of transport,” said Mr Fredericks.

The PSA called on the Minister to have PRASA account to South Africans for the accident. “Why must commuters and their dependents be exposed to this blatant gamble with lives? The PSA is especially concerned about the safety of many the Union’s members that make use of this mode of transport every day. The PSA awaits a speedy update by the Minister on PRASA’s explanation of the cause of the incident. This needs to be followed by decisive measures to ensure that this matter does not simply shelves as yet further statistics of workers dying because of unsafe public transport whilst government sits back without bringing to book those responsible for disastrous management of the power lines of the economy,” said Mr Fredericks.

Issued by Ivan Fredericks, General Manager, Public Servants Association (PSA)