Untu: Trains vandalism spiked after security companies' contracts terminated

The union said it was worried for the security of its members as train stations and rail-lines were being vandalised since Prasa terminated the contracts of private security companies.

FILE: Exposed copper wires stick out of a trench dug up by thieves at the Bonteheuwel signal station. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The United National Transport Union (Untu) said vandalism of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa) infrastructure was reaching crisis proportions and threatening the 14,000 people employed there.

On Friday, the union said Prasa terminated private security contracts that employed 3,100 personnel around the country with no back-up plan.

Untu said it was worried about the safety and job security of its members.

The union said train stations and rail-lines were being vandalised since Prasa terminated the contracts of private security companies at the end of last month.

Spokesperson Sonja Carstens said: “Damaging the infrastructure, rail covers being stolen and stations being vandalised completely.”

She said the termination of irregular contracts was itself mismanaged.

“Obviously, they said the private security companies were terminated because they were appointed irregularly – we have no problem but we do believe that Prasa should have had alternative thereof before terminating the existing contracts or the police be deployed.”

Untu warns that if the rail service can’t be relied on, its members will lose jobs and the economy will eventually be crippled.