ANC promises new trains as Ramaphosa gets first-hand experience of a 3-hour train delay

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Cyril Ramaphosa boards a train. (Deaan Vervier, Netwerk24)
Cyril Ramaphosa boards a train. (Deaan Vervier, Netwerk24)

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed "serious concern" after a delayed metro rail train he boarded on Monday arrived at its destination three hours behind schedule due to technical problems.

"The president expressed serious concern at the delays and their impact on workers who rely on this mode of public transport to reach their workplaces. 

"The combination of factors that caused the delays, including vandalism, are a cause for serious concern," acting ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete said in a statement on Monday.

WATCH: Frustrated commuter comments on Ramaphosa's peak-hour train delay: 'It's a daily occurrence for us'

Ramaphosa, along with other ANC officials, was campaigning for the party and interacted with commuters ahead of the national general May 2019 elections.

The governing party further condemned the attack of a train driver at Schutte Street station. The attack resulted in the woman sustaining injuries to her face.

WATCH: Three-hour train delay for Ramaphosa during ANC election campaigning

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier David Makhura spent several hours on a Metrorail train travelling from Mabopane to Bosman stations in Pretoria on Monday. The journey usually takes 45 minutes. The two caught the train from Mabopane as part of the ANC's ongoing campaign leading up to the national elections in May.

"While commuters have a right to a reliable public transport system, this does not extend to harm those charged with providing the service.

"The attack on a female driver is particularly disturbing and undermines the very values of a caring society our Constitution espouses," Legoete added.

As a result of Monday's delay, the ANC has called on Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to implement urgent measures to ease the travels of commuters making use of the rail environment.

20 state-of-the-art trains delivered

"Ensure that effective communication methods are implemented to enable commuters to make alternative arrangements when long delays are anticipated," Legoete said.

"President Ramaphosa further called for accountability as many complained that they face disciplinary action, including dismissals when they are late due to train delays."

According to the ANC, 20 new "state-of-the-art trains" were delivered through a modernisation programme seeking to address the plight of passenger rail commuters.

ALSO READ: 'This is a mistake we need to fix' - ANC leaders join commuters on the train

Approximately 500 more trains are expected to be manufactured in a factory in Nigel, East Rand, which produced two train sets in December 2018.

"Once the new trains have passed all safety tests, a process to phase out the ageing Metrorail trains will begin, which will address all the technical issues that give rise to delays such as the one experienced this morning," Legoete concluded.

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