We were left with no choice but to suspend or revoke Prasa's safety permit - RSR

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) approached the courts for an Interim Order to lift the suspension of the Safety Permit imposed by the Rail Safety Regulator.

The Rail Safety Regulator issued a letter giving Prasa hours to provide reasons motivating why their safety permit should not be withdrawn.

This is after two trains collided in Kempton Park injuring 320 people on Thursday.

GM of Communications at Rail Safety Regulator, Madelein Williams says the regulator had no choice but to revoke Prasa's safety permit because they have lost confidence that Prasa is able to operate trains safely.

Read: Prasa commits to help solve Western Cape Metrorail crisis

For the longest time, we have been stressing the need for Prasa to comply with special conditions and we have issued Prasa with improvement directives and prohibition directives, more recently with a penalty of R5 million all for the same issues which relate to manual authorisation.

Madelein Williams, GM of Communications at Rail Safety Regulator

We were therefore hard pressed to find other remedies. What we have left at our disposal was either to suspend or revoke their permit, which we are given power by section 26 of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act. The other option was to lay criminal charges.

Madelein Williams, GM of Communications at Rail Safety Regulator

But since we use an escalation approach, we then opted for a suspension of the permit.

Madelein Williams, GM of Communications at Rail Safety Regulator

Willims says the matter with Prasa is frustrating the commuters because they are concerned about their safety on trains.

It is very frustrating because on the one side we have the public complaining almost on a daily basis about issues relating to their safety.

Madelein Williams, GM of Communications at Rail Safety Regulator

No operator is allowed to operate without a valid safety permit so if it is revoked they cannot operate trains.

Madelein Williams, GM of Communications at Rail Safety Regulator

The court will this week, 11th October, hear an application by the RSR to revoke Prasa’s license to operate.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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