Passenger Rail Agency SA (Prasa) acknowledge its responsibility in ensuring safe working environment for its workers but said other law enforcement agencies need to join it in the fight.
Prasa said this in response to the United National Transport Union (Untu) which queried it for the number of murder that has happened in the past weeks.
The agency has been facing had times following a disturbing number of attacks on it workers, especially the train drivers. In a recent attack, a security guard was attacked and killed in Cape Town by two armed robbers who are yet to be found. The security guard was killed when he was patrolling the central line near Thambo Village.
Similarly, Malmesbury train driver Pieter Barend Botha was shot twice in the head by rubbers who met him at the Netreg Station in Cape Town and requested for his bag.
“While all employers have a common law duty of care and providing a safe working environment, Prasa alone cannot fight and win the war against crime,” he said.
“It depends on the key stakeholders, which are the law enforcement agencies and communities, commuters and employees.” Prasa’s spokes person Lesedi Mapheto said, requesting the help of the state’s law enforcement agencies in tackling violent cases in the agency.
Untu council member Brian Davids this week said the central line between Cape Town and Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats was getting increasingly dangerous and should be closed if Prasa was unable to secure it.
“Train drivers live in constant fear. The railway line has become so dangerous that they cannot properly focus on the signals they need to look at, allowing them to proceed, as they are constantly on the lookout for criminals,” Davids said, holding Prasa accountable for what he called senseless and barbaric killings.
Mapheto however, spoke in defence of Prasa saying it has invested in various technologies to combat crime, including segways and CCTV cameras.
“In the last five years, Prasa has taken the lead and partnered with the SAPS in appointing rail police, as well as private security, to augment our own Prasa security personnel.
“We have also invested heavily on technology and equipment, such as two-wheeled segway mobiles and CCTV cameras, to assist our security to track and deal with incidents of crime timeously”
Mapheto referred to the situation in the agency as unfortunate and tragic when criminals with no respect for life violate our environment and target those who are meant to protect.
He also said Prasa will continue beefing up its security operations, and asked for “all hands on deck” to report crime and prevent more loss of life.