Western Cape government urges Metrorail, MyCiTi to help ensure matrics get to exams on time

(PHOTO: Gallo/Getty)
(PHOTO: Gallo/Getty)

Western Cape MECs Debbie Schäfer and Donald Grant have appealed to public transport operators to assist their respective ministries in ensuring that matric candidates get to their exam centres on time.

The statement follows recent unrest within the Cape Town public transport network this month.

On Monday, MyCiTi bus drivers and other employees downed tools to demand better working conditions and pay. The strike has not yet been resolved.

Major disruptions occurred on the MyCiTi network on Monday, affecting commuters and thousands of the province's matric candidates who began writing the 2018 National Senior Certificate examinations this week.

Metrorail has also suffered ongoing vandalism and arson attempts on various lines and platforms around the greater Cape Town area this month.

"I am appealing to all of our public transport partners, Santaco (South African National Taxi Council), Metrorail, Golden Arrow Bus Services and MyCiTi, to take the necessary steps to ensure that scholars travelling to and from their examinations are not disrupted in any way during this crucial time," transport MEC Grant said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: Firefighters quell fresh blaze at Cape Town train station

Both MECs expressed concerns about the "possibility that some matric candidates will not reach their examination venues on time" given the ongoing reports of Metrorail trains being delayed, cancelled or set alight. 

Cape Town's railway stations have been beset by a string of train fires over the past several months, in addition to the vandalism of equipment and theft of cables.

Bus strike set to enter third day

On October 9, firefighters rushed to Cape Town train station to battle yet another train-related blaze after thick, black smoke permeated the air above the station.

According to the rescue service, two trains with three carriages each on platform 17 and 18 respectively were set alight in the incident.

According to the joint statement, many candidates "rely solely on public transport to make it to their examination venue each day". Transport delays could cause matriculants to arrive late, which would put the candidate at a disadvantage.

In order to reduce the risk of being late, education MEC Schäfer encouraged "matric candidates to be mindful of the fact that public transport can be unreliable and to ensure that they leave home earlier so as to make up for any possible delays".

"Rather be at the venue early than risk being late," she said.

"We must work together to prevent any unnecessary disruption to our learners during this time," Grant added.

The MyCiTi strike is confirmed to continue on Wednesday.

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