I will today write letters to both the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, requesting that a Parliamentary Inquiry be launched into the cause of the train crash in Johannesburg this morning that killed a Metrorail employee and injured hundreds more.
In addition to the safety officer who was killed, up to 240 people were injured when a stationary Metro Plus train carrying 700 people was rear-ended at about 07:00 by a Business Express train with about 200 people on board. The Democratic Alliance would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all those injured, as well as to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased Metrorail employee.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) will need to be brought before the portfolio committee to give answers as to how a moving train could crash into a stationary one. When a large number of commuters make use of rail, we need to ensure that their safety is of paramount concern.
Early reports suggested that at least two of the cars from the Metro Plus train were derailed. One landed on the platform, its entire front crushed, while the other went into a building, crushing some of the passengers. Faulty signalling has been suggested as a possible cause. Prasa cannot evade accountability in this matter and must be forthcoming with all the facts in an open and transparent fashion.
The DA will continue to push for affordable, efficient and, most importantly, safe public transport infrastructure in the interest of the millions of South Africans who make use of our national rail network monthly.
Manny de Freitas
Shadow Minister of Transport
Source : Democratic Alliance