180 000 Metrorail commuters stranded in Dbn

2010-05-17 08:01

Some 180 000 train commuters were left without transport this

morning as the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) strike began in

KwaZulu-Natal.

“No trains were operating this morning [Monday]. We have about 180

000 commuters daily travelling in Metrorail trains,” said Metrorail spokesperson

Thandi Mkhize.

She urged train commuters to find alternative transport until the

strike ends.

“Unfortunately this time we do not have buses to accommodate

commuters because the strike is too big. Usually we can accommodate travellers

when it’s a small group of people,” said Mkhize.

She said there was a security plan in place ensuring that

Metrorail’s assets were not damaged.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said no

incidents of violence had been reported to the police by today at 9am.

KwaZulu-Natal Taxi Alliance spokesmen Bafana Mhlongo said taxi

drivers were up by 3am today to ensure commuters would arrive on time at their

destinations.

“At the moment everything is going well. We are working very hard.

Our drivers will finish work very late today [Monday] to make sure that everyone

gets home,” said Mhlongo.

He said taxis were more than capable of carrying the large number

of people without transport in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Whenever the buses are on strike we always step in to assist. We

are more than capable to do the job,” Mhlongo said.

United Transport and Allied Workers Union (Utatu) provincial

spokesman Raymond Sakloo said the strike was on track and no trains were

operating this morning. Members of the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union

(Satawu) and Utatu started a strike on Monday morning, leaving about two million

commuters countrywide stranded.

The strike by nearly 12 000 workers severely disrupted Metrorail

and Shosholoza Meyl operations.

Prasa had upped a five percent across the board offer to eight

percent while the unions were demanding a 16 percent increase.


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