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Untu calls on SAPS & Prasa to beef up security at train stations

The union says there’s been a worrying increase in train hijackings by criminals in hotspots in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

United National Transport Union spokesperson Sonja Carstens addressing the media on the problems facing the rail industry. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The United National Transport Union (Untu) is pleading with police and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) to bolster security on all trains and platforms across the country.

The union says there’s been a worrying increase in train hijackings by criminals in hotspots in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

The union is giving an update on Tuesday afternoon on the problems facing the rail industry.

Untu spokesperson Sonja Carstens says a train can be considered “hijacked” when a commuter or a criminal forces those operating it to take an unauthorised route.

Carstens says there are many criminal syndicates operating on trains throughout the country.

“We would also like to see that there’s increased security on all platforms on a train station. There must be increased security to prevent the train crews and the commuters from being robbed.”

She says many train drivers are left traumatised.

“If it’s not the responsibility of the South African Police Services, I don’t know whose responsibility it is.”

She says there’s been little or no help from the police because this problem affects the poorest in society.

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