More pain for commuters with Metrorail price hike

2012-03-22 22:39

Cape Town - Metrorail is set to increase national train fares as soon as next month, the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) said on Thursday.

"We have not put out any figures yet because we are finalising consultations with stakeholders [commuter organisations and forums] and customers," spokesperson Lawrence Venkile said.

"We want consultation to run its course."

Consultation sessions were likely to wrap up at the weekend. The increase could take effect as early as April 1, although this would vary between regions.

The size of the increase would also depend on the region, Venkile said.


Organisations and civil bodies were being presented with a variety of increase models, with the most obvious being to take on the full increase at once.

Another option was to have a graded increase over a period of time. Increasing the number of travelling zones was also an option, as commuters would pay more the further they went.

Cosatu in the Western Cape expressed outrage over the increase.

Provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said he was advised of a 27% increase for the province, effective from April 1.

"Cosatu cannot accept this as it would have a devastating impact on commuters, many of whom already live on the breadline. Cosatu has called for a detailed process of engagement to explore alternatives to this huge increase," he said.

Poor service

Cosatu planned to serve a notice to strike against fare increases should it not receive a reply from Metrorail by Friday.

Ehrenreich said he was hoping the City of Cape Town and the provincial government would engage with him on finding "lasting solutions".

Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle was also opposed to the "unacceptable" increase, and proposed that it be dropped to a single digit figure.

"Although there had been no increases in fares from 2003 to 2010, Metrorail’s planned 27% increase for 2012, added to 2011’s 33% increase, meant there would be an effective 60% rise in fares in just two years."

Carlisle said an increase was not justified as Metrorail offered, in his eyes, an extremely poor service.

He proposed implementing small increases, below the inflation rate, annually. Commuters should be informed well before time to plan their finances, he said.

  • Taariq - 2012-03-22 22:46

    If only they could be as delayed with price increases as they are with arrival and departure times.

      Tendani - 2012-03-23 01:34

      Dzi a bora lunwe mah.ngauri symtyms people use taxe 2 go 2 work bcz of delayz

      Wendy - 2012-03-23 07:25

      Agree Taariq, would really help.

  • Gregory - 2012-03-22 23:08

    Fuel prices are up, more toll roads , public transport is a mess , government steals everything it can lay it's greedy hands on, Viva ANC viva.

      Tendani - 2012-03-23 01:30

      Ja Price hike mst go along wth de are delaye.hw cn ppl pay more money on smthng wich cnt be trustable.

      Oscar - 2012-03-23 05:45

      Don't worry, the official inflation rate dropped to 6.1% yesterday. All these 20% plus increases are just an illusion.

  • Eric - 2012-03-22 23:11

    Tony Ehrenreich is like a little chameleon. One day he is an ANC councillor for Cape Town - the next day he is the general secretary of COSATU in the WC, fighting against his own ANC party! What a moron!

  • Deon - 2012-03-22 23:20

    No increases from 2003 to 2010? And they wonder why the organisation is bankrupt and the rolling stock decrepit? This is what comes of pandering to the uninformed when making planning decisions.

  • Bloodstone - 2012-03-22 23:54

    And who are the sole owners/shareholders of PRASA? So the owners of this country will carry on regardless of the financial hardship caused to their own electorate. Clever.

  • valcooperRSA - 2012-03-23 00:38

    What a comedy of errors this country is

  • Derk - 2012-03-23 01:02


  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-23 05:03

    soon people wont be able to afford to get to work, petrol up again in April, this, its madness

      Oscar - 2012-03-23 07:09

      It is called socialism, contribute tax according to your ability and receive grants according to your needs.

  • deon.fourie - 2012-03-23 06:17

    *snap* *crackle* *pop* If only someone could find a way to liquify stupid and burn it in a combustion engine this Country would make the Middle East look like a can of Q20. The worst part is that when the tires start burning and the rocks starts flying they're usually pointed at us, the middle and upper class, the ones dutifully going to work each day so we can shove more than 60% of our effort into the pockets of our ruling Mafia.

  • Leon - 2012-03-23 06:40

    Well, they keep burning the coaches. A coach costs a few million, so somebody has to pay. Stop burning coaches and the increase is lower.

      lovenergy - 2012-03-23 08:21

      yup... R13 mil of damage in the last riot, they can't seriously expect to cause millions of damages and not pay for it somehow

  • george.makhoba3 - 2012-03-23 06:42

    matrorail is taking advantage of us poor nt to mention thier poor service

      Oscar - 2012-03-23 07:06

      You voted for the ANC now live with the consequences of their BEE policies.

  • Cindy - 2012-03-23 06:51

    Its an outrage wanting to increase the fairs by 27% and by 1 April. We receive such poor services from Metrorail wonder where the money is going to, last year a 33% increase and yet there was poor service delicvery, what would make it so different this time around!!

      Oscar - 2012-03-23 07:05

      Live with it, it is the price you pay for BEE...

  • Ian - 2012-03-23 07:07

    but dont wurri vote anc for a free fud pusel, asswipes

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-03-23 07:09

    If farm animals like myself behave badly and mess up and burn the farm yard they metro rail will certainly put up the price. Keep burning the trains and the price will keep going up.

  • William - 2012-03-23 07:17

    i am one of the comuters staying at tembisa,prasa should see to it that their trains are always on time because we always late to work and late home thanx.

  • unlimited.A - 2012-03-23 07:24

    no problem about That...more pains means mangobe will continue more...

  • Zolisa Arosi - 2012-03-23 07:25

    It's a pity that the increase won't improve their poor service. Trains are always running late or cancelled.

  • Narwahl - 2012-03-23 07:37

    WTH they never on time and all u hear is Cancelled or Delayed. And the crap message "Metrorail apologizes for the inconvenience"now you still want to increase the fares. Improve your service first!!!!

  • Andriette - 2012-03-23 07:37

    Fuel prices are escalating (which will lead to price hikes in goods), we are being tolled to drive national highways and now this? How ironic that the normal consumer is told that if you are not happy you must use public transport and now they are increasing the price of trains and the Gautrain busses are still unreliable thus making life even more harder for consumers.

  • TBlogger - 2012-03-23 07:38

    Horrible Planning.. They should for once put themselves in the shoes of the people who use this service, 27% increase for a service which is constantly delayed and to top it all off you fear for your life while you're there!!

  • Daveu - 2012-03-23 08:10

    Hey, why strike due to price increases. MAYBE teach your strikers not to burn the trains whilst they striking as the replacement costs for new carriages must come from somewhere. DUH

  • John - 2012-03-23 08:13

    Unbelievable! Metrorail is a very badly managed business. Last week they were on schedule for about 70% of the time. The Kyalesha line ran at 47% efficiency. Now consider that 60% of the population in the Western Cape use rail to get to work and then try & compute the hours lost in productivity because people are late for work as a result of the way Metrorail run their business. The coaches are filthy and, mostly, damaged as a result of vandalism. They claim they cannot put more coaches into service because they are waiting wheels from their outsourced manufacturer. Guess who they are? Transnet! Hell they cannot even guarantee their clients safety & they are demanding more money!! Bizarre!

      lovenergy - 2012-03-23 08:30

      Who are vandalizing these coaches? Who are making these coaches filthy? Isn't it time for the law abiding citizens to do something about this? There haven't been any increases for 7 years and how many coaches were burned down during that time? The last strike alone was R13 mil damage and I promise you it wasn't the only strike in the last 7 years and unfortunately it’s the people who can't afford it who suffers most.

      John - 2012-03-23 08:53

      Yes & no. In my view they should be protecting their own assetts & if that means guarding the coaches 24x7 so be it. The money they save will be off set by less need for maintenance. Take a walk on 1 of the smaller stations & note how many metrorail people are wondering around doing nothing. I will concede that commuting by rail is cheap by comparison & perhaps the increase is justified but give the clients something in return.

  • Cheslyn Brink - 2012-03-23 08:26

    this is a disgrace, how can they even consider an increase in train fares. WTF. their service is so poor, comuters are loosing their jobs daily because of their poor service delivery. when ever a train is cancelled or late all they say is that we apologize for your inconvenience.

  • bretton.eveleigh - 2012-03-23 08:35

    If the increases mean reliable, quality train services, then it's probably justified, but alas the increase will mainly be used to pay staff increases and managment/exec bonuses. In it's present form Metrorail will never get it right!

  • Xavier7034 - 2012-03-23 09:32

    The costs of burning the trains - approx R100 million did not help

  • Eric - 2012-03-23 09:54

    Ladies and gentlemen. The biggest culprits for this increase is the workers themselves. They demand bigger increases and when they do not get it they burn the trains. Then there is the amount of money spent on overtime and outstanding payments for Saccawu from way back. So it is not politically motivated but worker driven

      Eugine Magogodela - 2012-03-23 11:16

      commuters alws complain bt wen taxi fares increases 10x a year they payup

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-23 09:58

    Amazing how quick government is to set inflation at six percent and employers refuse to give increases of double digits, but fuel, transport, electricity etc all have increases of between 15% and 30%. Are those in power so ignorant as to believe that the man on the street does not know he is a victim of crime by his own employers and government? Do these officials really believe that we as taxpayer do not see that when we buy groceries in January for R5000.00 and exactly the same groceries in February for R7000.00 that the value of our money is dropping. Do those in charge really believe that they will be able to sustain a system when the average worker earns less than R5000.00 a month but rentals on a 1 bedroom flat start at R3000.00, add a R1000.00 for municipal charges, a nutritionally balanced diet cost a small family around R3000.00 a month and that the average worker cannot afford a roof over his head or the luxury of eating every day net alone eating a balance meal? Its is easy for employers to point fingers at lazy staff who do only what they have to, but don't take into account that the employer himself is paying a salary that is below the minimum needed to live with dignity.

  • galane1 - 2012-03-24 07:35

    Metrorail should improve their service first.

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