Cosatu, SACP demand revamped public transport

CAPE TOWN - Cosatu, the SACP and their affiliates are calling for an immediate turnaround strategy in Western Cape for the passenger rail industry.

More than 140 train carriages were set alight in Cape Town over the last three years.

READ: Three arrested for Prasa equipment theft

On Thursday, the unions and parties held a march to Parliament calling for urgent government intervention.

Cable theft and vandalism have forced Metrorail in Cape Town to suspend its Central Line service with only 33 operational train sets in the province, trade unions and parties want local government to step in. 

Malvern De Bruyn, Cosatu provincial secretary, said, "we are saying fix those trains, we know there's a question of arson and those kinds of things, but the question is what happens now after that?" 

"They are supposed to pick up those culprits that are destroying our infrastructure... People pay for those tickets so they expect proper services. "

SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said the party wants parliament to respond to the needs of communities and conditions of workers in South Africa.

Rail agency Prasa says Parliament's cash injection will help address its challenges. 

Prasa acting regional manager, Raymond Maseko said, "the assistance that we have received in terms of this capital funding, would allow Prasa to first securitize the network. Secondly to build a substation at Bontenhuewel that was completely stripped and stolen."

Those who are at the receiving end want the City of Cape Town to roll out the operation of MyCiti buses in affected areas. 

Government has been asked to respond to the memorandum in 14 days.