Stop assaulting train drivers, or face the risk of having rail passenger services being suspended. This was a warning from Metrorail, a division of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, (Prasa) amid complaints of assault from disgruntled train commuters on drivers.
In a statement, Prasa spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng strongly condemned what she described as growing incidents of assault directed towards staff members in customer services, train crews and security personell across Gauteng as and when there are challenges of delays in services experienced.
“Train commuters are warned that this unbecoming behaviour is totally unacceptable and if it continues, the train service will be suspended in that affected corridor.
“Management further urges all commuters to put safety of staff and commuters first while in the train operations system,” Mofokeng said.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Tony Games, also a spokesperson for Prasa in Gauteng, said some staff members say they have been verbally and physically abused. “It is really unfortunate to see some commuters turning against the very same people who are expected to ferry them to their respective destinations, but if this trend continues, drivers and other staff members will decide not to work in those affected area.
“The other problem that we have is with other commuters who witness such incidents, but decide to keep quiet about it, and therefore we want to appeal to them to contact the nearest police station to report these few hooligans,” Game said.
Meanwhile, a few months ago, Prasa did acknowledge that it was experiencing challenges ranging from old infrastructure and old trains, which have led to delays in services.