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Prasa: Securing more trains not a quick fix SA's rail problems

Prasa group chief strategy officer Sipho Sithole blamed criminal elements for the frequent disruptions to train services, which President Ramaphosa has labelled as unacceptable.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa interacts with commuters at Mabopane train station in Soshanguve on 18 March 2019 during the party's election campaign drive. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says that securing more trains as President Cyril Ramaphosa has suggested will not resolve the long-standing issues of overcrowding, late arrivals and slow travel times across the country.

On Monday, the president took a train from Soshanguve to Pretoria central station as part of a blitz election campaign.

The trip was supposed to take under an hour but lasted nearly four hours.

WATCH: Ramaphosa’s first-hand experience of train commuter woes

The passenger rail agency said a female driver was hit by a brick.

Prasa group chief strategy officer Sipho Sithole blamed criminal elements for the frequent disruptions to train services, which President Ramaphosa has labelled as unacceptable.

“We’re fixing the coaches almost every day, we’re bringing coaches back to service which were vandalised. Half of the same thing get vandalised again.”

But these commuters say they’re used to trains running late almost every day but can't afford to make use of other transport.

“We’re getting fired from work, we want trains. We don’t want Ramaphosa here,” one commuter said.

Another added that: “He just comes here for the votes and then after that we don’t see him.”

Prasa says it's glad that the president experienced first-hand what commuters have to endure daily as he hopes the situation will change.

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