Steven Tau
1 minute read
19 Feb 2016
10:35 am

Metrorail disruption caused by assault on drivers

Steven Tau

"These incidents of assault are a widespread problem."

FILE PICTURE: Commuters hang on to the outside of an overcrowded Metrorail passenger train in Soweto. Picture: Michel Bega

Train services in the Pretoria and Johannesburg corridor will remain disrupted until such time that the safety of drivers is guaranteed, Metrorail in Gauteng said on Friday.

There were lesser trains operating along the corridor concerned on Friday morning following complaints by drivers about growing incidents of assault and intimidation.

According to Metrorail, train personnel have expressed concern about reporting for duty mainly in the Pretoria and Johannesburg corridor, where 70% on incidents of assaults occurred.

Speaking to The Citizen, Metrorail spokesperson, Lillian Mofokeng said the assaults, according to the drivers, have been so bad, to an extend where some were physically assaulted and others left traumatised by some disgruntled commuters who set alight tyres before throwing them into the drivers’ cabins.

“Some of the drivers have been assaulted verbally,” said Mofokeng.

She said, as much as Metrorail understand the frustrations of commuters due to delays in services, unbecoming and violent behaviour will not be tolerated.

“These incidents of assault and intimidation are a widespread problem, and there was a time during December last year when we warned that should incidents of violence and intimidation against our drivers continue, we will have no choice but to scale down on our services.

“We will soon announce when normal services will resume in the Pretoria and Johannesburg corridor,” Mofokeng said.

She added that, currently, they do not have the capacity to secure every single train driver.-stevent@citizen.co.za