While Metrorail recovers from arson attacks that resulted in over R70 million worth of damage, the recent attack of a Metrorail commuter, Darryn August, has further frustrated commuters. As a result, Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) has decided to create awareness about the role of the Regulator and the various awareness campaigns that the RSR conducts.
August, who in an attempt to protect a pregnant passenger from being robbed, was subsequently stabbed and thrown out of a moving train on April 25, 2016.
His injuries have resulted in him possibly being permanently unable to walk and, as a result of community shock, attracted support from all around the country. August has to date received more than R277 500 in donations.
CEO of RSR, Nkululeko Poya explained that the regulator in response to the recent incidents is currently investigating the safety of passengers on board trains as it continues to be concerned as no regulations exist that are directed toward the safety of railway commuters.
“One of the things that we look for is safety incidents in relation to what the operator said it would do for the year, before we issue the operator with an annual safety permit,” Poya said.
Poya affirmed that Metrorail has been issued a safety permit by the RSR who interface with the railway company on a monthly and a quarterly basis.
“We do audits and inspections and see if they are complying with the policies and procedures that they submitted to the regulator.”
The RSR is a public entity that provides oversight in order to improve safety of railway transport and provides all operators with safety permits that is in accordance with the RSR Act 16 (2002).
Poya explained that the powers of the regulator extend to inspectors who have the right to stop trains if a particular train is believed to be unsafe.
He, however, urged commuters to inform the Regulator if a train appears to be defective and to report criminal activity on the railway service.
“We do require the assistance of passengers, since we do not know every incident that occurs on the rail. We also request that passengers not take the law into their own hands when they have problems with the service. Theyshould rather contact the regulator,” Poya urged.
For more information or to submit complaints, call the 24 hour call centre on: 0800 444888.