Metrorail offers R20m to crash victims

2011-05-25 20:09

Johannesburg - Metrorail, a passenger train division of the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa), announced on Wednesday that it had set aside an additional R20m to compensate victims of two separate train accidents, indicating that it had tightened its rail safety regime.

Lucky Montana, CEO of Prasa, told journalists at a media briefing that the company was "seriously concerned" about the two recent accidents in Soweto on May 19 and in Pretoria on April 8.

Montana reaffirmed that the company would cover the hospital bills of the train crash victims.

The R20m formed part of the new commuter insurance cover that would be introduced in November 2011.

"We are introducing a commuter insurance cover, based on a no fault system to all valid train ticket holders injured or killed in train accidents to ensure speedy assistance to passengers without delay," Montana said.

The company's preliminary investigation found that one of the accidents, in which a Metrorail train collided with the Soweto Business Express in Meadowlands, Soweto, had been caused by "human error", he said.

The company fired the train driver on Tuesday and an additional 19 drivers faced disciplinary action over offences ranging from speeding to passing signals at danger points.

In response to the two accidents, Prasa and Metrorail held an "extra-ordinary meeting" on Saturday to review safety measures at Metrorail and Shosholoza-Meyl, Montana said.

Refresher course

The  CEO of Metrorail, Mosenngwa Mofi, said the review took "specific actions" including introducing a compulsory stop at all T-signals, previously treated as cautionary signals where drivers could proceed with caution after a three minute wait.

Mofi said the action also involved strengthening of the human factor management programme, which monitors driver related issues such as driver fatigue, fitness for duty, sobriety and re-enforcement of medical surveillance and compulsory fitness for duty tests.

"All drivers who have violated safety rules such as, among others, speeding in the past three to six months will be withdrawn from service and undergo refresher training courses.
‚ÄúSome selected retired train drivers will also be recruited on a short-term basis to mentor  newer train drivers," Mofi said.

  • Father-Time - 2011-05-25 20:32

    They employ unskilled, inexperienced drivers and technical staff in the name of affirmitive action and when, and not if, they f*ck up, then us taxpayers, the minority who the ANC say own 76% of private sector business, who have too cough up. As much as i sympathise with the victims i cant help feel that the 20bar could have been better spent elsewhere in the country as opposed to paying for the incompetence and failure of Metrorail.

      velastardust - 2011-05-25 20:46

      Wrong name, wrong profile. Avatar !

      Sheda Hab - 2011-05-26 09:14

      I was reading an article in NEWS24 yesterday where a guy was saying that ANC voters wanted to run the country themselves or more to the point people only vote ANC because only black people must run the country. Well after 18 years this is the result. I do not know what race group the driver is from but that is not the point. Decisions to act or not to act on discipline, training, maintenance etc. comes from the top. Me for one - I am happy if the white DA guy was transitionally running the country. I visited Cape Town a month ago and was SUPER IMPRESSED. Now don't get me wrong I am not saying the country must forever be run by whites. Because of our history they had the qualifications and the ANC just swopped them out with unqualified wannabees. It has to happen soon, because I believe one of the government departments realised their mistake two years ago and tried to bring back the qualified guys to teach the new guys and guess what? Most had retired, or were employed overseas and the few that remained had their own one man businesses. So I ain't gonna be using trains, planes and taxis for the next 18 years. Maybe longer at the rate our schools are burning down. Mind you if you have no electricity, water or fuel the choice will be made for me anyway. They have not got a clue how to govern a country. They have not got a clue how to govern themselves. They have not got a clue how to govern us. Where are the ideas of the Slovo's , Sisulu's, Hani's Where is the UDF, The South African Working Class and the National Democratic Revolution.

      Craig De Montfort-Braganca - 2011-05-26 19:39

      was the driver of the blue train or the Rovos Rail luxury both unskilled and experienced? were they not white males with several years of experience? yet they both crashed and caused loss of life. What do you have to say about that?

  • iqanda - 2011-05-25 20:36

    As if this is going to help. Give the R20M to me and watch me build this country up with the help of the ANC. I am more clever than most people in South Africa. You will still see my name in high places. Mighty is iqanda. More powerful than you think.

      Lindinha - 2011-05-25 20:42

      Is that an egg splashed in your face?

      velastardust - 2011-05-25 20:44

      Egg-face,smoking again ?

      Francis - 2011-05-25 20:50

      I have to say this every time, Iqanda you are an ignorant dipshit

      Me - 2011-05-25 20:59


      Big 5 - 2011-05-26 08:37

      @iqanda... the correct grammar is, I AM CLEVERER, than most people in SA... Come on Einstein you should know that

  • Peter - 2011-05-25 20:48

    The CEO and his board members, should rather offer R 20 Billion because they sit on their backsides and just talk, talk, talk,> People must not be fooled by Metro rail, because President Zuma and his Government are the Major shareholders in Spoornet, Transnet and Metrorail with 100% shares, Please don't Play Games with the people who supported you during the Election, make a decent offer to the victims, it is also amazing that COSATU has kept quite ?.????!!

  • Marius Rossouw - 2011-05-25 21:05

    It will be much cheaper to scrap BEE and employ only the best people regardless of their colour. It is not very difficult to understand, or is it? If my calculations is correct 20m is a bit on the short side. Hehe, good luck you BEE lot, I'm sure you are going to need it. Hehe.

      Craig De Montfort-Braganca - 2011-05-26 19:43

      Marius, doing so would simply perpetuate apartheid. You need to know that BEE and AA were introduced only when it became evident that Europeans will only hire Europeans, and when they demonstrated that they'll only do business with Europeans. I fail to understand White people's gripe with BEE, when the advantage they enjoy, and will continue was brought about by a different kind of BEE - apartheid, whereby one had all the advantages due to skin coloration viz. jobs reserved, better funded education, free or cheap land, agricultural subsidies, etc.

  • Beam me up - 2011-05-25 21:28

    Metro Rail, only pay compensation to those with legal train tickets, which means you will save R18m.

  • DoublySalmon - 2011-05-25 21:31

    Victims not victoms author!

  • Christiaan Louw - 2011-05-25 21:36

    I feel sorry for all the people that were involved in these accidents, as well as their families. I think they deserve sympathy, not racially inclined bickering. Don't you?

  • Wishbone - 2011-05-25 21:38

    "19 drivers faced disciplinary action over offences ranging from speeding to passing signals at danger points." Is it me or is this an identical scenario to the taxi driver industry where the total lack of enforcement and indiscipline results in accidents? How many passengers have been at risk with the behaviour of the above drivers?

  • peter - 2011-05-26 06:45

    Typical Africa

      Xak'abantu - 2011-05-26 13:55

      Do you have anything better to say? What about Africa? What are you doing in this continent?

      Craig De Montfort-Braganca - 2011-05-26 19:44

      please Joe, please just emigrate then...

  • Big 5 - 2011-05-26 08:40

    R20m divided by 852 is only R23474 per person.... peanuts

  • int1m1d4t0r - 2011-05-26 10:06

    They are only offering up 20 mill so they dont have a huge civil case against them... it is a bribe for the stupid. I heard on the radio that they will pay the money directly into the victims bank accounts.. the guy talking made it very clear they didnt want lawyers involved , and even called the lawyers vultures,.. they do not want to be taken for 800 x 1,000,000 , ehehehehe

      one-way - 2011-05-26 12:33

      You got it wrong TOR. 20 mil for valid ticket holders. We just got 20 new millionaires.

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