Protesters want toilets in trains

By Drum Digital
13 March 2013

A group of protesters gathered outside the Bosman Railway Station in Pretoria on Wednesday demanding improved service from Metrorail.

A leader of the protesters, Reuben Rathelele, said relying on the train service had been a frustrating experience for thousands of commuters.

"We want them to improve on their bad service. We want to have toilets in the trains and we want Metrorail to curb overcrowding," he said.

"There is no security in the trains. Our people are being raped in the trains and theft is rampant," said Rathelele.

He said the trains were often not on time, causing many commuters to be late for work.

Rathelele said he was a branch chairman of the Pan Africanist Congress in Soshanguve. Some of the protesters wore green PAC T-shirts.

He said a memorandum demanding a service turnaround would be handed to Metrorail and to transport department officials.

Police, Tshwane metro police and Metrorail guards milled outside the busy railway station. Several police vehicles and motorbikes were parked at the entrance.

Some surprised commuters used their cellphones to photograph the police contingent.

A protester used a loudhailer to invite commuters to join the strike.

"Join the march comrade. Come and join. Don't just complain," he shouted.

Most of the commuters glanced at him and continued walking briskly into town.

-by Sapa

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