9 January 2019

South Africa: Cosatu in Gauteng Is Shocked and Deeply Angered By the Train Collision in Pretoria That Left Three Passengers Dead and Scores Injured

press release

The government of South Africa is presiding over the state that is killing our people indirectly and directly. Ministers of Transport in this country have failed dismally when it comes to addressing road and rail safety.

It is unforgivable that this day and age our government does not have a solid response to calls for a proper and affordable public transport system. This is sadder when considering that its mostly black and poor communities are still the victims of apartheid spatial development. Instead of dealing with this issue decisively our government has responded by building and expanding GAUTRAIN for the elites and imposing the user payer system (e-tolls) for poor communities.

COSATU in Gauteng is calling for the Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande to rescue workers, who are using moving coffins on a daily basis to go to work. The trains and busses that ferry workers to and from workplaces are not well-suited to this mandate. It cannot be correct that workers who are responsible for building the economy of this country are subjected to this chaotic and hazardous public transport system, whilst the Minister is continuously defending the e-tolls.

We further call the Minister of Transport to focus his energy towards eradicating corruption at PRASA, to stop calling Izimbizo that are not assisting towards safer public transport but contribute to wasteful expenditure of resources.

The federation in Gauteng will develop a program that would be focusing on safer public transport directed at the Minister of Transport and his department. Enough is enough, one death of a worker is one death too many.

We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the three deceased bread-winners and a speedy recovery to those who are injured. The federation will be visiting the families of the deceased as well as visiting those injured at hospitals and their homes.

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