Union says Prasa should suspend passenger train services

Untu has called on Prasa to suspend its Metrorail operations right away to avoid any further commuter injuries.

Commuters seen at the Van Riebeeck train station in Kempton Park where two trains collided on 4 October 2018. Picture: @PRASA_Group/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The United National Transport Union (Untu) says Prasa needs to suspend passenger train services so the state-owned entity can fully resolve safety issues.

In the latest incident, two Metrorail trains collided on Thursday after one of the locomotives was forced to stop on the tracks due to a technical fault. At least 320 people were injured.

WATCH: 320 injured in Kempton Park train crash

Untu has called on Prasa to suspend its Metrorail operations right away to avoid any further commuter injuries.

Spokesperson Sonja Carstens explains: “Prasa is in such a mess that everything should be brought to a halt. All the resources should be put into fixing the system, the infrastructure and sorting out the problem.”

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande says he's still waiting for a report into Thursday's train crash and will be interacting with the injured to find out exactly what happened.

Nzimande, who travelled by train on Friday to get first-hand experience of the challenges that commuters face every day, says there aren't enough trains and they are too full.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed the establishment of a board of inquiry to investigate the cause of the train collision.

The DA’s Charity Moyo says: “There’ve been a series of train accidents that have been reported yet government has done nothing in order to ensure the safety of passengers. The trains are all in a dire state. The only solution to this problem is to give the province the authority to manage the rail network.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)