To date, the South African rail system has been inundated with inefficiencies and delays that have a socio-impact on commuters. In retaliation commuters embarked on wrong ways by setting fire on trains. Breakdowns and track theft have also been a common problem for this transport mode in Gauteng.
Remedial actions were initiated by the Transport Department to help curb some of the challenges experienced with the public rail system, like the unveiling of the Gauteng Rail Nerve Centre (GNC) in Tembisa earlier this year, where train commuters were promised to have a transport system that is safe, reliable and efficient. The Centre is meant to allow for communication with the commuters regarding any interruptions on the network and a protection room which will monitor criminal activities at train stations and depots through CCTV footage.
Months on, has the rail network system improved and delivering reliable transport to commuters?
The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport led by Honorable Chairperson Jacob Khawe, will host a two day summit closing off Transport Month and tackling topics that are sure to raise a nerve with the users of rail. This is one of the ways that the GPL’s Portfolio Committee is following up on its commitment to be a tribune to the citizens of Gauteng and giving oversight in the Roads and Transport sector.
Themed Modernisation of Public Transport for Reliable use, the 2 day summit will deliberate on the following topics:
- Reliable and accessible mode of transport
- Economic opportunities in the rail industry for commuters
- Law enforcement, ensuring safety in rail
The objective of the two day summit will on the first day bring together organized formations of the Rail Transport Sector, i.e. Rail Safety Regulator, Rapid Rail Unit, United Commuters Voice, Prasa/Metrorail, Department of Community Safety, Transnet Freight Rail, and Department of Roads & Transport to deliberate, report and propose regulations centered around the topics for discussion to come out with possible approaches to improve rail transport.
On the second day of the summit, GPL will give Train Commuters an opportunity to air their views and suggestions with organized formations to process and account to.