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Prasa about to lose safety permit: report

According to eNCA the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is about the lose its safety permit.

Prasa was given mere hours by the regulator to give reasons it’s permit shouldn’t be revoked after two trains collided near Van Riebeeck Station in Kempton Park on Thursday.

EWN reports that there were at least 320 injured in the crash.

The Citizen reported that the train crash was due to a mechanical failure – the one train was stopped at the station and couldn’t get moving – when the other crashed into the back of it.

News24 reports that City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for transport Brett Herron has called on government to declare the railways a national disaster, and that shutting down the railways will impact millions of South Africans.

Blade Nzimande had previously responded to the DA’s calls for a state of emergency by accusing the party of ‘political manoeuvering’.

“This call by the DA is dishonest, opportunistic and political manoeuvering  that seeks to exploit the dire situation confronting rail services in the Western Cape. I rebut this political posturing in the strongest terms,” Nzimande said in a statement according to IOL.

My Take

Something we should remember about Nzimande is this, one of the biggest crisis during Jacob Zuma’s tenure was #Feesmustfall.

Tensions were high, and the situation was getting hotter by the day as the protests became more violent and more racialised.

Nzimande responded by saying students must fall.

He later apologised for this according to News24.

In 2017, Nzimande said that the EFF and students were part of a plot to disrupt government according to the Mail and Guardian.

“Some are political organisations like the EFF … Others are some ultra-left expatriate academics who seem to be experimenting.”

I am not a fan of the Fallists. So far as I can see their leadership includes the worst people South Africa’s ever produced, the kind of people who proclaim their love of Hitler and celebrate when terrorists kill people.

Consequently they turned an issue which should have unified students across all racial groups, into a source of racial conflict. They set fire to buses with students on them, in the name of fighting for students.

That said, Nzimande’s handling of the situation was shockingly bad, and it shows how he has a history of not taking very serious problems seriously.

You cannot blame a political party or commentator for being political, it is their purpose. It is not cheap politicking when a party raises its concerns, it is the party doing its job.

Something that seems all too alien to the ANC.

The DA calling for help on the railways is not something that makes the ANC look bad. It should not be something that is controversial at all, it is a simple matter of something having gone wrong, and there being a need to sort it out.

Nzimande’s response does in fact make the ANC look bad, because it is looking for excuses not to act, and the excuse is that the concern is being raised by an opposition party.

And it is nothing surprising that Nzimande takes this approach, it is how he ‘worked’ when he was in charge of tertiary education.

  • Picture courtesy of GCIS via Flickr.
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