Minister Carlisle Challenges Cosatu and Chamber of Commerce to Distance Themselves from Fare Increase
Western Cape Transport and Public Works Minister Robin Carlisle has asked why Metrorail, Cosatu and the Chamber of Commerce are negotiating the future of Cape Town commuters behind closed doors, without a single elected representative of the people being present, "especially in light of the tough economic times".
"It is extremely worrying to contemplate what business model and financial plan Metrorail are working to that allows them to come up with a huge price hike and then apparently slash it in half at the behest of Cosatu and the Chamber," Minister Carlisle said.
The minister's comments come after he accused Cosatu and the Chamber of "selling out" Metrorail commuters.
"Putting aside the fact that Metrorail has negotiated without the people's elected representatives being present, it now appears that the price hikes announced by Cosatu last week are in reality far greater than Metrorail and Cosatu are prepared to admit."
Minister Carlisle took a train trip from Kraaifontein to Cape Town on Tuesday morning and spoke directly to commuters to find out what they were really paying for their singles, weeklies and dailies. Price hikes up to 50% have been implemented.
"I challenge Cosatu and the Chamber of Commerce to distance themselves from the current fare increases until Metrorail can explain the rationale behind them, how that rationale survived being slashed in half and most importantly how the current situation on the ground reflects a situation entirely different from Metrorail and Cosatu's official stance," Minister Carlisle said.
"'Technical glitches' simply do not explain the range of fare hikes dumped on long-suffering commuters, with the collaboration of Cosatu," said Minister Carlisle.
"I should add that we have repeatedly put it to the National Minister of Transport, the Deputy Minister of Transport, the CEO of PRASA and the regional management of Metrorail that without proper access control and security on stations and the rail system as a whole, the horrendous service and loss of life and property that commuters suffer daily will continue unabated," said Minister Carlisle.
"One of the other aspects of introducing proper access control will be ensuring that ALL passengers on Metrorail actually pay for their tickets."
"If Metrorail were implementing proper access control by securing stations and the rail network, there would be no need for fare hikes," Minister Carlisle said.
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