Thursday, October 22, 2009

Metrorail’s failure to pitch for commuter safety meeting “disappointing” – says Councillor

By Kim Saulse
22 October 2009

Mayoral Committee member for Social Development, Councillor Grant Pascoe, has described Metrorail Regional Manager, Steven Nogbeni’s failure to pitch for a meeting scheduled to discuss rail safety as “disappointing and indicative of Metrorail’s attitude towards the safety of commuters”.

The meeting was called following the death of Zimkitha Blayi and her six year old daughter last week in Nyanga, after they had illegally crossed the railway.

“We’ve been battling for years now to get Metrorail to commit itself and to budget adequately. We were hoping to discuss this at the meeting, but this did not materialize.

“Instead, they sent a low ranking official with no decision making authority,” said Councillor Pascoe.

He added that the City did have several options that will enable them to tackle Metrorail’s incompetence’s head on.

Pascoe mentioned writing to the Rail Safety Regulator to ask for an incident investigation into the death of Blayi and her daughter;and approaching the Minister of Transport to request that he pass regulations in terms of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act of 2002, Section 31(a), to regulate the fencing-off of railway lines so that the public can be protected.

“I will ask the City’s transport department to meet with Metrorail officials to investigate ways in which the City and Metrorail can cooperate to reduce the number of fatalities on our railways,” said Pascoe.

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