'We want the same respect given to all other public transport services'

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says it will suspend train services in Mamelodi for the rest of the week following the assault of 10 Metrorail employees on Tuesday night.

A female staff member was apparently mobbed, stripped naked and dragged into a bush during a violent scuffle with passengers.

Metrorail announced earlier on Wednesday that all commuter trains servicing the Mamelodi corridor will temporarily be stopped with immediate effect.

READ: Mamelodi train service suspended: Metrorail explains

Responding to frustrations over the slow service, Prasa Spokesperson Nana Zenani explains how the running of the trains has been affected by vandalism.

We don't deny that our service is not great. With the introduction of the new trains it is now apparent that even with the features that are added for safety and comfort, those are now being vandalised and they are affecting the technology and the running of the trains.

Nana Zenani, Prasa Spokesperson

We need to focus on what is happening to our staff at the moment. Assets, yes they are important, but the lives of Metrorail members are also just as important.

Nana Zenani, Prasa Spokesperson

It seems to be normalised that when there are problems within, then people are allowed or justified to resort to violence and attack or vandalise. We also want the same kind of respect that is given to all other services of public transportation.

Nana Zenani, Prasa Spokesperson

Meanwhile, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) General Secretary Steve Harris, says violence on trains has become worse over the years.

He says government has turned a blind eye to its responsibilities.

Our people are so threatened and traumatised.

Steve Harris, National Transport Union (UNTU) General Secretary

We not working in a normal environment, this is a total abnormal environment so we need to take abnormal decisions and we need to be able to pull in services from the South African Defense Force if required under the current circumstances.

Steve Harris, National Transport Union (UNTU) General Secretary

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview....


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