Rail accidents: Nedlac asked to help

2012-07-14 14:40
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Johannesburg - Fedusa will ask Nedlac to consider additional measures to curb accidents at railway crossings, the trade union said on Saturday.

This is after 26 people were killed when a train hit a truck full of farm workers in Mpumalanga on Friday.

The truck had been carrying the workers on the N4 between Malelane and Hectorspruit.

The train hit the truck and then dragged it for about 200m and there were bodies with limbs missing scattered on the ground.

"We will ask the executive director Mr Alistar Smith, to reconstitute the Nedlac [National Economic Development and Labour Council] standing committee to consider additional measures and steps to prevent these unnecessary and avoidable accidents from happening," the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) general secretary Dennis George said in a statement. He said there had been a rise in fatalities due to accidents on railway crossings with 45 deaths between 2010 and 2011.

In 2009, Fedusa filed a Section 77 in terms of the Labour Relations Act with Nedlac. "Fedusa asked the authorities for their urgent intervention to ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists at railway level crossings are secured," said George.

Reacting to the Mpumalanga accident, President Jacob Zuma on Friday said he was shocked and saddened by the news.

Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba believed the accident illustrated the dangers of irresponsible driving, which allegedly caused the crash.

He urged law enforcement agencies to address the root cause of the crash. Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said the accident was an example of poor labour practices.

The department of transport said it was gravely concerned about fatal crashes at rail crossings, which was why some crossings were now being monitored via closed circuit television cameras.

Read more on:    fedusa  |  nedlac  |  jacob zuma  |  mbombela  |  railway crashes

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