Train commuters could be in for a rough ride as Cosatu gears up to protest against Metrorail, the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government for better transport service.
Secretary General Tony Ehrenreich says the trade union body will be staging a picket at Metrorail’s Foreshore offices between 2pm until 3.30pm tomorrow.
He said the increasingly poor service delivery by Metrorail prompted Cosatu to act.
This included random delays, overcrowded trains and the fact that workers’ pay was being docked for arriving late to work due to train delays.
Earlier this year, several train coaches were torched following a strike by Metrorail employees which saw delays of up to two hours on train lines.
The union is demanding that Metrorail reimburse workers for wages lost, refund unused tickets they bought, as well as the money commuters give out for alternative transport during train delays.
Cosatu said in a statement: “There needs to be more trains put in place on the service to ensure that there are reductions in overcrowding, as this overcrowding leads to loss of life and severe injuries with people falling out of trains.
“There must be no ticket price increase until the system is fixed and improved.”
South African Transport and Allied Workers Union members will join the march in support of workers and commuters tomorrow.
Satawu spokesman, Luntu Sokutu says: “Workers will down tools and attend the march and based on the no work, no pay policy, they will be losing out on pay.”
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott says they have been working hard to avoid delays.
“As the infrastructure is repaired, we are able to improve punctuality and as we receive refurbished train-sets from the contractors we can add capacity to meet demand,” she says.
“If Metrorail had not been deliberately targeted with a series of attacks earlier this year, the region would now have been performing to much higher standards.
She adds that it was still unclear how many employees would participate in the strike but that their contingency plan would be activated.