Untu wants Ramaphosa to declare Prasa crisis a state of emergency

The union believes Prasa is under siege by criminals and furious mobs of commuters due to what Untu says is the agency’s daily inability to provide a safe and reliable passenger rail service.

President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the unveiling of new trains in Cape Town, on 9 April 2019. Picture: @CapeTownTrains/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The United National Transport Union (Untu) says that it wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare the current situation at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) a state of emergency so that the army can be deployed to safeguard its platforms and infrastructure.

The group believes that Prasa is under siege by criminals and furious mobs of commuters due to what Untu says is the agency’s daily inability to provide a safe and reliable passenger rail service.

Untu spokesperson Sonja Carstens engaged with President Ramaphosa on Tuesday as he spoke at an event to unveil one of two new trains deployed as part of Prasa’s modernisation programme.

Carstens said that she told Rampahosa that Untu has written him several letters that he has not responded to.

The last letter was sent to his office on 29 January, in which the union pleaded with the president to urgently step in to save Prasa.

“We pointed out that our members, the majority of employees at Prasa, are being attacked on a daily basis, and commuters are fed up. There’s also the total lack of control on the side of SA Police Service. They are not able to keep criminals away from train coaches.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)