The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has suspended all Metrorail train services in Kwazulu-Natal indefinitely after commuters vandalised the train station in uMlazi, Durban.
Four coaches were reportedly torched on Friday.
Metrorail KZN Regional Spokesperson Zama Nomnganga says a build up of events led to the decision.
It's been a build up for many years. There is an element of criminality, vandalism, theft, train hijackings, our crew getting assaulted and then it came to Friday where we almost lost about 12 lives at the uMlazi station.— Zama Nomnganga, Metrorail KZN Regional Spokesperson
Nomnganga says they the agency has met with the provincial leadership to address the matter.
We need to make sure that our commuters are safe and our train crew is safe. We have met with the MEC and will meet with other security structures with the leadership of the province to come up with a plan on how to safeguard the infrastructure. Maybe by Thursday we will be able to say something on how we are going to resume our service.— Zama Nomnganga, Metrorail KZN Regional Spokesperson
Meanwhile the United National Transport Union (UNTU) General Secretary Steve Harris says while it is an inconvenience for commuters, there is no other alternative.
We cannot continue under these circumstances and just expect our members to continue driving the trains while they are continually harassed, held at gun point, set alight, assaulted. It's just barbaric as far as we are concerned.— Steve Harris, General Secretary for United National Transport Union
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...