Union ‘shocked’ by rail safety report

Johannesburg – Transport union the United National Transport Union (UNTU) has expressed shock at the State of Railway Safety report, which was released by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday last week.

  The report indicated that 280 people were killed after being hit by trains during the past financial year, and about 220 were injured.

  The report also revealed that injuries resulting from operational incidents, which included derailments and accidents, increased to 2 660, a 23 percent increase from the previous financial year. The report also highlighted the risks on commuters’ lives; and that the rail system faces problems that include broken infrastructure, arson, and vandalism.

  UNTU spokesperson Sonja Carstens said: “The Railway Safety Regulator is basically reckless in allowing the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa to continue with train services when fatalities have increased by 36 percent. We will always say, one life lost is one too many, and that is totally unacceptable to us.”

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