Posted on: July 1, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

The SA Railway Safety Regulator rejects claims that railways were unsafe, and authorities were ‘unaware of declining driver skills and rail infrastructure’.

Every major rail accident was investigated, said the RSR, and rail safety is “not in a state of decline.” Two major commuter train incidents in 2011, on the Akasiaboom -Wintersnest line in Pretoria, and on the Mzimhlope- Phomolong line in Soweto, “had raised rail passenger injury figures”.

The RSR commented that “these incidents are not the norm”. The RSR received daily reports from Transnet Freight Rail as well as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, reports IOL News.

SA Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) safety assurance general manger, Letsane Rathaba, said 99.9% of the country’s 8000 train movements took place without incident.

Rathaba responded to claims of declining rail safety management, made by trade union Solidarity safety head Paul Mardon, as reported on SHEQafrica.com in three reports in June 2011.

The RSR “notes concerns expressed by labour union Solidarity, and views them in a serious light”.

The RSR had “highlighted to parliament these concerns regarding safety, and continues to implement preventative measures, arising from ongoing audits and inspections of operators, as well as post accident investigations, to prevent similar occurrences,” said Rathaba, as cited by Sapa.

PHOTO; A major passenger railway collision on the Mzimhlope- Phomolong line in Soweto was ascribed to ‘driver human error’.

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