DA statement: 08 April 2016
The DA in the Western Cape calls for the PRASA national office to intervene in the brewing labour conflict in the province and deal with any unresolved matters. In particular, the potential strike action by members of The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu).
Metrorail provides an essential service to the people of the Western Cape. We cannot allow that this dispute brings commuter mobility to a standstill. In my capacity as Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, I will write to acting group Chief Executive Officer, Nathi Khena, to call on him to resolve the regional conflict. PRASA must ensure that their agreement with the Satawu national leadership is upheld. The agreement stipulates that no strike action will happen before every alternative avenue, to resolve these legitimate issues amicably, has been exhausted.The Regional Manager for Metrorail in the Western Cape, Richard Walker, has earlier briefed the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament on his operation. The committee was satisfied that he is on the right track to improving on the service delivery of the entity in the province. Satawu’s reckless calls for Walker’s resignation must thus not be heeded. Mr Walker and his local management team should rather be given time and support from PRASA, at national level, to do their work.
Metrorail serves as the backbone of our transport system, to get workers and learners to their destination safely and efficiently. Public transport is key to accessing job opportunities for those most in need, and any unnecessary strikes must be avoided at all costs.