Update: Prasa responds to the RSR prohibition directive

The scene of the train collision in Germiston on Tuesday.

The Department of Transport, the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) and Prasa were locked in meetings on Wednesday afternoon to deal with the prohibition directive suspending the use of manual authorisation during degraded conditions.

The meeting was meant to highlight the huge impact of the prohibition directive on train operations across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape provincial services.

Approximately 2.6 million passenger trips will be affected across the three provinces with Gauteng alone undertaking 1.5 million passenger trips per day.

The order will effectively push all those passenger numbers onto road-based public transportation.

Traffic volumes will also increase thus stretching the demand for road-based movement.

In the Western Cape, Metrorail has more than 40 per cent of public transport market share and undertakes 650 000 passenger trips per day and KwaZulu-Natal undertakes 475 000 passenger trips (running 12 car train configuration).

All these trips will also be affected.



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Update: RSR issues prohibition directive to Prasa for manual train authorisations


In a statement, Prasa said the use of manual authorisation by Metrorail is not by design but arises out of the ongoing attack on the rail infrastructure by thieves who continue to damage the signal infrastructure by stealing cables and signalling equipment.

The scourge of cable theft and the continued support of that theft by clandestine industries continues to cost Prasa and government millions of Rand that could be used to upgrade passenger rail and create job opportunities.

The crime against the country’s rail infrastructure cannot be managed by Prasa but requires us to treat it as a national crisis which requires national intervention, Prasa cannot fight this battle alone.

Should the prohibition directive hold, Metrorail can expect a huge backlash from the public that might result in trains being set on fire or vandalised.

Millions of passengers who have bought tickets, which are the only tickets they can afford, will be severely affected while Metrorail will be unable to provide alternative transportation or refunds due to the sheer scale of the number of passengers.

Prasa respects the authority of the Rail Safety Regulator in terms of its powers, according to the Section 36 National Railway Safety Regulator Act 16 of 2002 notwithstanding that RSR should have still given notice before issuing a prohibition.

The meeting agreed that Prasa will submit corrective measures to the RSR that will ensure the safety of passengers during degraded conditions where manual authorisation is in operation.


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Contact the newsroom by emailing: Melissa Hart (Editor) [email protected]or Leigh Hodgson (News Editor) [email protected] or Kgotsofalang Mashilo (journalist) [email protected]

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