Protest for better transport



July 13, 2016
Protest for better transport

Tony Ehrenreich and Metrorails Richard Walker sign a memo of demands yesterday. Credit: BERTRAM MALGAS

Commuters join Cosatu march in city to improve rail and bus services.

Hundreds of commuters have marched in the city to protest for better public transport.

Yesterday the Congress of South African Trade Unions led a march to the Civic Centre to demand that both Metrorail and the City of Cape Town improve the rail and bus services.

The union wants an improvement of security on trains, with a guard in each carriage, for trains to be on time and reliable and for there to be more trains to alleviate overcrowding.

They also want delays to be minimised, which often lead to workers being penalised by employers.

Metrorail’s regional manager, Richard Walker, accepted the memorandum from protesters.

“We are very aware of challenges facing us and we have been dealing with them for the past 24 months,” he says.

“In October last year when we submitted our plan, we were able to recover the service.

“It is unfortunate the events that happened after October, we lost over 50 train sets due to arson and protests which had nothing to do with Metrorail and we have lost millions of rands, but our commitment has always been there to deliver services.

“However what encourages us is that Cosatu is coming out to condemn such incidents and are willing to work with us.”

Cosatu also demanded that the city take away the MyCiti bus service from rich areas and put them in poor ones.

However the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Brett Herron, says Cosatu’s march was nothing but a political stunt.

“This latest stunt from Cosatu to target the City through their protest action is ironic, if not dishonest and schizophrenic,” he says.

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