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MEDIA STATEMENT: #UniteBehind supports the COSATU call for a safe, reliable and affordable commuter rail system.

 

 

#UniteBehind supports COSATU’s strike for a safe, reliable and affordable commuter rail system. The strike is taking place tomorrow (Thursday, February 20) in Cape Town. #UniteBehind has been a radical advocate for this cause for more than two years. Our rail system has deteriorated drastically over the last decade due to corruption and maladministration at PRASA. Trains are often late or cancelled, unsafe, and overcrowded.

 

 

Workers who rely on trains receive warnings, fines, and even lose their jobs for late comings that are no fault of their own. Learners are late for school, sometimes missing tests and exams because of the dysfunctional commuter rail system. Commuters along the central line in Cape Town have had to depend on expensive alternative transport since trains stopped towards the end of last year.

 

 

A properly functioning commuter rail system is crucial to building the economy. It is also crucial to combat the effects of climate change by decreasing carbon emissions. We need to work together to #FixOurTrains.

 

 

#UniteBehind reiterates our call that a national disaster on commuter rail needs to be called. We demand a commuter-centred safety plan that focuses on vulnerable commuters such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled. We need the central line in Cape Town to be opened or alternatively PRASA must provide alternative transport.

 

 

We simply cannot afford to let commuter rail fail. It needs to be the backbone of our public transport system. Urgent action and intervention is required to fix our trains.

 

 

We call on commuters, activists and the public to support the COSATU strike tomorrow (Thursday, February 20).