by Solly Msimanga Cllr – DA Gauteng Premier Candidate
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the launch of the board of inquiry to investigate the cause of the train collision that left more than 300 people injured yesterday.
Two trains collided at Van Riebeeck Park station when a train travelling from Johannesburg Park Station to Pretoria collided from the rear with another train which was faulty and stationary at Van Riebeeck Park station.
There have been a series of train accidents that have been reported yet government has done nothing to ensure the safety of passengers.
During the launch of my Listening Tour, l boarded a train from Pretoria train station to Saulsville train station, where commuters stated that trains are not in a good condition, and usafe.
The trains are old and in dire need of maintenance. The windows are broken and the doors don’t close properly, compromising the safety of passengers. The trains are always late, inconveniencing learners and people who are going to work.
Commuters claim that there is no customer service as there is no communication on why the trains are delayed and when they are expected to be moving again. They claim that the trains sometimes do not move due to faulty signals.
The failing ANC has neglected the South African rail system leading to its collapse.
The only solution to this critical problem is to give the provinces the authority to manage the railway network as well as stabilising and modernising the current rail system, focus on upgrading the current signal system to phase out the manual signal system to prevent further crashes and derailment and re-establish a dedicated rail police unit to provide security on our rail system.
The DA wishes a speedy recovery to the injured passengers.
As part of my Listening Tour, l will continue to make use of public transport to establish the safety and conditions that commuters are exposed to on a daily basis, and find solutions to these long-standing problems that affect the people of Gauteng daily.
The ANC has failed to ensure passenger safety on all public modes of transport. Come 2019 when the DA governs Gauteng we will ensure that we prioritise passenger safety and upgrade the Metrorail system.