Affirmative action causing Transnet en Prasa to derail

Adv Anton Alberts

The termite effect of affirmative action which has crippled South Africa’s public service is now also literally and figuratively derailing Transnet and Prasa (The Passenger Rail Association of South Africa), Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Transport says.

According to media reports on the latest security report of the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) it appears that derailments and collisions cost Transnet and Prasa R555 million. The incidents are mostly due to human factors.

In the case of Transnet, its loss (more than R300 million) doubled last year in comparison to 2012. It appears that people are injured in collisions 46 times more often than they are in any country in the European Union.

According to Adv. Alberts, this statistic is a good example of the destructive effect of affirmative action as the number of accidents and dead and injured people in this instance can be counted.

“According to reports there are some concerns about the competence of train drivers. Some are not properly qualified while others just do not have the capability to execute certain core functions and have to be assisted by other drivers.

“The real problem goes much deeper and wider and can be directly attributed to affirmative action. Not only drivers, but thousands of personnel such as engineers and technicians with decades of experience and expertise have been fired to make room for incompetent affirmative appointments.

“The decline in the service can be seen on a daily basis, especially in suburban areas. Trains which run late or do not service certain routes due to personnel problems, signal problems, derailments or accidents, are becoming a daily occurrence.

“The handful of loyal and expert workers who have remained, are worn out due to regularly having to work long hours and over weekends in the place of incompetent and ill-disciplined colleagues and it is creating a security risk.

“The retired personnel who had provided a loyal service has in addition been treated very poorly by their previous employer and the FF Plus is at present assisting with a class action of approximately R80 billion that pensioners had instituted against Transnet. The case will possibly be heard during this year.

“It is clear that only the gravy train is not experiencing problems. This is a serious problem as people’s lives are directly affected by it and the FF Plus will address this issue on the highest levels to find solutions,” Adv. Alberts said.


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