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Cosatu supports the objectives of the Railway Safety Bill

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By Ragheema Mclean

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has welcomed progress made with the Railway Safety Bill, presenting its recommendations to the Parliament’s Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works, and Infrastructure.

This Bill, aimed at amending the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, is a crucial step towards enhancing safety within the railway environment. This aligns with the government’s goal of shifting passengers and freight from roads to railways, as outlined in the White Paper on National Rail Policy.

Speaking on VOC’s Breakfast show on Friday, COSATU’s Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator, Matthew Parks, highlighted the importance of the Bill in ensuring the safety of commuters, cargo, and the public near railway lines.

He stressed the need for consequences for theft and illegal activities that compromise safety.

“If people don’t feel safe, they won’t use the railway line.”

Parks said that some of the key provisions of the Bill include empowering the railway safety regulator to issue safety permits, establish safety standards, and monitor compliance.

“The Bill also addresses penalties for non-compliance and strengthens health and safety provisions across the passenger and freight railway networks.”

However, COSATU also raised concerns about the Bill’s silence on addressing cable theft, which has significantly impacted Transnet and Metro Rail.

“Urgent action is needed to curb this issue, including the regulation of scrap metal dealers.”

VOC News

Photo: Pixabay

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