Mthuthuzeli Swartz, regional manager of Metrorail Western Cape says Metrorail regularly supplies off-peak trains to large groups who require transport: ‘We provide mobility to large groups on request by prior arrangement at an agreed cost’. He said most mass users include the Universal Church, COASATU, the DA and the ANC. “As a public service provider we cannot discriminate against groups who want to use our service” Swartz said
Swartz cited recent examples of Riana and Justin Bibber concerts that were held in Cape Town where the City of Cape Town asked for Metrorail to make the same facility available to those who went to these concerts. Swartz explains that a contractual arrangements are made with these organizations to protect both service provider and client in case of an accident: ’Without valid tickets or a signed contract any claims may be compromised in case of an accident.’
He says: ‘Ours is a mass transport business – the only proviso is that it happens during off-peak to avoid inconvenience to regular commuters during peak hours’. He said this is done to facilitate the transport of masses in an orderly fashion. He lamented as unfortunate any attempts to portray Metrorail as being partisan in rendering their services.
Swartz confirmed that a representative of COSATU had arranged train transport for participants in today’s march in the City Centre. He also said that organizers would be held liable for damages: “Anybody, regardless of whom they represent will be held liable for the cost of any damage to Metrorail property or infrastructure”.