The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene in the long running crisis at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)’s Central Line in Cape Town which for months now has seen thousands of working class commuters and FEDUSA members repeatedly arriving late at work or not arriving at all because the overcrowded trains were either running late or not running at all.
Over the preceding months, FEDUSA and its affiliate and majority union at Prasa, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) have respectfully and dutifully followed all the established channels of communicating their legitimate grievances starting with the Prasa reginal management structures, the provincial government structures and the national ministry of transport to no avail.
Promises to look into these serious grievances and assist timeously by instructing Prasa regional management to follow through with action on the ground have not been forthcoming and as a result of the crisis, crime has spilled into the Central Line with hundreds of commuters being robbed of their personal belongings at gunpoint, small children injured, women indecently assaulted and some workers have been dismissed from their jobs – in the context of a dire economic situation – as companies became increasingly lost patience with their late coming or failing to report for work on a repeated basis.
In light of the President’s recent and widely publicised critical to the national to look after their bodies by regularly walking around their neighbourhoods, places of work and schools and exercising regularly in general , FEDUSA calls upon the President to walk the talk by walking about the Cape Town Central Station and taking a ride to a working class suburb at peak hours to experience the crisis at first hand.
In a related development, UNTU has applauded the crucial move that has been taken by Prasa Acting Chief Executive Officer Mthuthuzeli Swartz to dismiss Richard Walker from his position of its principal regional executive in the Western Cape for his dithering about the Central Line crisis over the past 20 months.