Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi has reiterated government’s commitment to provide reliable, cost effective, efficient, safe and modernised transport services following a train accident that happened at the Geldenhuis station, east of Johannesburg.
“This commitment will be safeguarded, provided communities in their various formations partner with government to ensure that the rail network is a protected asset, which has the potential to yield maximum and reciprocal benefit for the economy and the South African populace in general, particularly those that rely on and use the rail network on a daily basis,” Minister Maswanganyi said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, two Metrorail trains collided at Geldenhuis station. More than 200 passengers were injured, with 67 sustaining moderate injuries and 159 sustaining minor injuries.
Emergency services gave the injured the necessary medical care onsite and transferred them to various hospitals in Gauteng.
The Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa) restored rail operations following the removal of both the affected trains and the fixing of the damaged perway.
The affected Springs line has been cleared for operation and services resumed on Wednesday morning. Minister Maswanganyi has apologised for any inconvenience caused to passengers, their families and business as a result of this occurrence.
Minister Maswanganyi thanked emergency services, doctors and nurses who attended to the injured. The majority have since been release from various hospitals.
The Minister also thanked commuters for their patience while services were restored to normality on the affected Springs line.
Cape Town shooting
Meanwhile, Minister Maswanganyi has condemned the shooting of a Metrorail security guard at the Khayelitsha train station in Cape Town on Tuesday evening.
Prasa is working together with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to arrest the perpetrators of this crime.
In the interest of commuter and employee safety, train services are currently suspended until police clearance is granted to resume operations.
Minister Maswanganyi has conveyed his condolences to the family, friends and relatives of the deceased guard.
Metrorail customers are encouraged to listen to public address announcements at stations, to consult Metrorail’s passenger information channels and their phones, if registered to receive short message alerts and to share the information with fellow commuters on the developments throughout the day.