Gautrainer: Response-ability

2015-01-27 13:30

Response: a reaction, reply or retort. Ability: Skill, capacity or power. Responsibility thus a reaction with skill, capacity or power.

Last Friday afternoon the service announcement sounded “dear passengers, we are experiencing delays” – the next moment the train snail creeps around the corner, slower and slower, stops and the doors open.

After we all got in the doors closed, it’s packed in the four cart train, peak time, Friday, and we don’t move – for at least 10mins – now please remember, it is summer, there is barely standing space – then we move, at last. Half way to Centurion the train stops, for another 10mins. The only explanation we received this whole time was “we are experiencing delays”.

What would have been better is “we are experiencing delays due to cable theft, or Load shedding”, because this is a workable and understandable reason. Consumers today are extremely well informed and just asking for our patience well, it’s nice, but not good enough. Which brings me to my next question; “why are the railroads not on the National Key points?” Not just the Gautrain, all of them that transport people to work and back. The same people that keeps the economy alive.

And herein lays my response-ability heading.

The Gautrain management has the capacity to react to these situations, best that these plans are pro-active. When not possible then give solid information about the situation and or challenge – that is good customer care. Rather have calm informed clients than hot, all squashed up uninformed, and thus irate customers (mushrooms – kept in the dark…)

It has been long argued that the Gautrain is only for the “rich” people – but it is not, and it will never be. It is for everybody (ok in Johannesburg and Pretoria) and it should be working (all the time) and effective and protected - the same goes for Metro Rail. These are vital parts of our economy.

There are consistent requests and incentive's for the commuter to travel in off peak times; this is before 06H00 in the morning and after 18H00 in the evening. So we now have to start working longer shifts? Because someone was not responsible and does not have the capacity to react and or plan?

I am sure there are enough hours in the day for someone at Gautrain to get this right – because the incentive for Gautrain is that if they do it better more people will use it. At some point commuters will get tired for waiting for the nest 8 cart train – then we might as well be squashed up in a taxi, same thing just cheaper. I suppose this is the service the commuter gets when income is guaranteed for the next 5 years.

It is fact that the train is just a bit more expensive than taking a Taxi to and from Johannesburg or Pretoria – so the above argument that it is for the rich is untrue. If you don’t use it is by choice, unless you believe everything you hear and then well, you probably believe that Jan van Riebeeck is to blame or our Eskom woes too.

It is our right to raise concerns – where has our silence gotten us? We have to be response – able if we want to make a difference – we are after all, commuter’s wise, all squashed up in the same train. We are all paying taxes and this is our country. Our silence is not serving our democracy or our right to good service , including schools, Municipalities, Transport, consumer goods, to name but a few.

How long…

How long will she pregnant be

heavy with this child

The fathers’ forgiveness and hypocrisy

has stepped aside or passed

Expats greed and apathy fill the widening gap

How long will she suffer morning sickness,

Vomit bile corruption

Her legs heavy with promises unkempt

How long this load she must carry

This burden of new life

Screaming with contractions

Of self-enrichment and strife

All her other children blinded by deceit

So many going hungry, muted disbelief

Alone she cries at night wishing she could see

flowing through its veins tolerance, dreams, diversity

Embrace what she has given grow up to be free

This child she has prayed and fought for

And named Democracy

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