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Calls for armed guards to protect rail staff in CT

Prasa has been accused of not fulfilling its obligation to provide a safe working environment.

Metrorail commuters onboard an overcrowded train on 20 April 2016. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The United National Transport Union has accused Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) of not fulfilling its obligation to provide a safe and secure working environment.

The union says a train guard was assaulted by a commuter last Saturday on Cape Town's central line.

The following evening a guard at Nolungile station was apparently held up at gunpoint.

These incidents follow the fatal shooting of a train driver in Bonteheuwel last month.

The union has called on Prasa to appoint armed guards to accompany train drivers and guards on the central line.

The union believes if Prasa cannot secure the line, or bring an end to the incidents, the line must be closed.

It says train crews are operating in fear on the notorious line.

The union has reiterated that rail safety has deteriorated in recent years, adding that it no longer has faith in the rapid rail police unit to solve the crisis.