No amount of champagne, cakes or booze-fuelled parties can mask the reality of the what the ANC has become.
Light showers. Partly cloudy. Cool.
Metrorail train. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
For thuma mina to be taken seriously, it has to be broken into to manageable thuma mina projects with clear objectives, responsibilities, timelines and budgets, and managed by competent people, writes Phumlani Moholi.
Graphic photographs of injured
commuters, burning coaches, mangled railway tracks often symbolise the death
and destruction caused by train accidents. The images are stark, disturbing and
increasingly part of the national tableau, mostly blamed on train signalling technology
We know all too well the heartbreak
that a deadly train crash causes. Every year there are train accidents and
derailments and in one accident, the signalling infrastructure had not worked
for two years.
In this era of President Cyril
Ramaphosa's "thuma mina" (send me), "new dawn" and Industry
4.0, how can our rail system, the biggest transporter of people and goods
suffer such technological malaise? And what can be done to give the rail system
the same attention we give the airline industry?
In the airline industry, these
incidents would not be tolerated; any incident is one to many. Why? Because the
basic fundamental existence of the airline industry is air traffic control and
without it there would be no flying, and safety would be compromised.
So, like air traffic control, the
train signalling system is the foundation of the control of the movement of
trains and timing.
For thuma mina to be taken seriously, it has to be broken
into to manageable thuma mina projects with clear objectives, responsibilities,
timelines and budgets, and managed by competent people. One of those should be
to fix the railway system. To do this, signalling should be the premier
What are the benefits of a properly
function railway signalling system? The following are some examples of benefits:
All of the above would encourage
more train users and relief of traffic congestion on our roads.
For the reasons mentioned, railway
signalling should be prioritised as the number one project for fixing the
railway system and network.
Some lessons were learnt in the
delivery and staging the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Every technical system was designed with redundancy, meaning that if
there was a failure in one area, a backup would kick in to clear the failure
and ensure that the games will go on. This is how the 2010 World Cup that we
are so proud of was successfully managed.
A redundancy system is what is done
to run mission critical systems and those are basics of systems engineering. Similarly, a railway signalling system
should be designed with redundancy and there are existing technologies and
methods that can provide this redundancy.
So, the way forward should be for
the government to give a mandate to a Thuma Mina Trains Signaling Project Team,
support it to navigate the bureaucracy to deliver on this with clear budgets,
plan, timeliness and responsibilities.
- Phumlani Moholi is an engineer, co-founder
and director at Rain Networks, former chief of the IT and Telecoms 2010 World
Cup Organising Committee and former chief technology officer at MTN South
Africa. He writes in his personal capacity.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views.The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
The couple will leave the family in March.
The collaboration celebrates Black History Month in the U.S.
This is fuelling dangerous drug resistance in children.
All courtesy of the International Public Art Festival.
They are now engaged.
Some packages have increased, others not.
It seems that children affected by the virus are in the minority. Why is that?
Atlantic SeaboardShimansky Jewellers
Cape TownO'Dwyer Personnel
DurbanvilleZaPOP Media (Pty) LtdR1 000.00 Per Month
R 2 395 000
R 8 300 000
R 2 500 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.