Over 130 Satawu-affiliated Metrorail workers sacked

Metrorail in the Western Cape says workers who have been dismissed will not be allowed to return to work.

FILE: Metrorail commuters wait on trains at Philippi station on 20 April 2016. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail in the Western Cape says more than 130 workers affiliated with the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), who have been dismissed, will not be allowed to return to work.

Metrorail Regional Manager Richard Walker yesterday briefed members of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the state of the rail operator's services.

This follows a series of arson attacks on trains last month.

Walker says some of the arson attacks and vandalism incidents coincided with the wildcat strike.

"It's just a coincidence that the illegal strike and the intensification of vandalism and arson happened at the same time."

Metrorail has lost 35 carriages due to vandalism.

The damages caused by these deliberate attacks since October 2015 have cost Metrorail close to R200 million.

Meanwhile, a number of train carriages were gutted in a fire at the Muldersvlei Station near Stellenbosch yesterday.

Metrorail says police are following up on leads after the incident.

Walker says no injuries were reported and police are investigating.

"We lost two coaches in that fire and the police got good leads from witnesses. We're just waiting on them to complete investigations and we hope the responsible individuals can be brought to book."