IFP calls for rail safety audit


Rail services might have resumed in parts of the country, where trains have been involved in accidents over the past few years, but the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) believes that a full rail infrastructure safety audit still needs to be conducted by the relevant authorities.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has been plagued by administrative problems throughout the current term and there has been mounting evidence to suggest that those deficiencies have had a significant impact on the quality the service provided by the agency.

The IFP feels there needs to be more accountability, especially after the two major accidents in Kroonstad and Germiston in the past week. Questions have been raised, as to whether passenger safety remains a priority for Prasa.

IFP spokesperson on Transport, KP Sithole, said: "The train collision in Germiston yesterday, which followed closely upon the horror accident in Kroonstad last week, must set alarm bells ringing at Prasa that the safety of our rail infrastructure networks are simply abysmal."

"The incident yesterday appears to have been caused by reckless human error and Prasa must assume full responsibility and see to it that all those who were injured are adequately treated and compensated for their injuries, pain and suffering," added Sithole.

Sithole said it had become blatantly obvious that serious flaws existed within the system, adding that there was increasing evidence to suggest that government was turning a blind eye to them.

"The regularity with which these incidents occur points to serious flaws within the Prasa rail infrastructure network and a full safety audit of the infrastructure should be conducted and corrective action, where necessary instituted," he said.