Prasa safety permit expires

According to EWN Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has told Prasa to get their act together, after their safety permit expired in Tuesday.

The passenger rail agency says it hasn’t recieved a letter from the Railway Safety Regulator saying it can’t continue to operate without one, and claims the regulator’s call for them to renew their permit during working hours is “unfair”.

The regulator meanwhile has refused to give Prasa a permit because it doesn’t seem very committed to running a safe operation.

My Take

According to Prasa‘s website, here is the breakdown for its services:

  • Metrorail: 525 million passenger trips per annum

  • MLPS: 1,082 million passengers per annum

  • Autopax:  3,157 million passengers per annum | 553 buses

And their safety permit just expired.

This reminds me of what happened with SA Express – which was grounded due to a critical lack of maintenance. It has only just been allowed back in the air with two planes according to Fin24.

This also makes me think of the taxi industry. Every time that industry protests how the cops “target” their operations, I think the cops should target their operations because they’re carrying passengers.

It is not simply the taxi driver at risk if the taxi is not roadworthy.

It is very human not to take risks seriously until there is a major incident, but by the time that we’ve had a major train wreck, or plane crash or suchlike, it is a little bit late for the passengers to start taking their safety seriously.

These regulations are not pointless busy-work, they’ve come about because things in the past went wrong and people died, yet over time we tend to forget about those disasters and corners start getting cut again.

I applaud our safety regulators for taking this seriously. That Prasa feels it needs an instruction to not operate without a safety license, that doesn’t make it sound like they’re taking safety seriously to me.

  • Picture courtesy of GCIS via Flickr.
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