Friday, August 23, 2019

Plan to occupy Cape Town Station over 'basic security infrastructure' on trains

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) offices in Cape Town in April were previously occupied by the civil society group, Unite Behind. They demand an efficient and safe commuter rail service. On Friday from 2pm the afternoon, the #UniteBehind alliance movement will occupy Cape Town station for a non-violent protest to demand commuter safety on Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) trains.

Mathew Hirsch, the spokesperson for #UniteBehind, said commuters confronted dangerous journeys everyday just to get to work and school on time. Hirsch said, the most affected are females, who get sexually harassed, as well as pupils, who occasionally get pushed out of trains due to overcrowding. “That just this week there has remained delays of more than two hours across the province due to infrastructure difficulties in Cape Town”, he said. Hirsch also mentioned that, they demand qualified and properly trained security guards on trains and at the train stations, operating on legitimate contracts. They need basic security infrastructure. “There needed to be security in the trains and at every station”, he said.

There need to be accessible reporting mechanisms for commuters who are victims of crime. They reiterate our demands that commuter rail be declared a national disaster. This would allow the government to unlock funds and resources to focus on safety on trains.

They continue our call for a commuter-centred safety plan.

By: Ellouise Muller

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