14 November 2017

South Africa: Unite Behind Activists Blame Corruption for Cape's Poor Train Services

Unite Behind activists protested against the state of train services in Cape Town on Tuesday, saying dodgy tenders and corruption was draining money meant to fix issues that railway commuters encounter daily.

About 30 activists gathered outside The Taj Hotel in the city centre, while Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Transport met with Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi.

The group demanded to know how Maswanganyi intends to spend R9bn promised to Western Cape Metrorail.

They claimed that a R57bn loan agreement with China to develop the Moloto corridor was signed "in a corrupt manner".

The group handed out pamphlets at the entrance where the meeting was being held.

The pamphlets read: "Our trains don't work because of grand corruption, incompetence and criminality."

In it, they accused controversial businessman Roy Moodley of funnelling money from a train security tender to President Jacob Zuma.

They also described the Swifambo deal, which delivered trains that were too big for South African infrastructure, as an example of a "rigged" tender".

The group says old rail systems are in desperate need of state investment by "honest and capable officials and experts".

"Instead, under the leadership of former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana, and former Prasa chairperson and current Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi, billions have been stolen. Rail experts have left or been purged and criminality and incompetence is widespread," they added.

Unite Behind activist Vuka Zukiswa said people struggling to travel on the central line, from Khayelitsha, do not understand why trains can't be fixed and why there can't be better security and reliability.

"A lot of people are pushed out of trains or are late for work because of delays and security problems, when we know for a fact there is money to fix this," Zukiswa added.

Unite Behind wants Montana and Buthelezi to be arrested, along with Zuma and also demands that National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams starts prosecution processes against them.

However, they added: " Shaun is bang om vir Zuma te mang (Shaun is scared to arrest Zuma)."

Source: News24

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