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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has called on the Railway Safety Regulator to do a “thorough” investigation following the death of a Gautrain train worker on duty on Wednesday.

“Numsa is deeply saddened by news that a Gautrain worker was killed whilst on the job. The 59-year-old employee … died after a maintenance rail road vehicle‚ which he was operating‚ collided with depot and maintenance equipment‚” Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said in a statement.

“We call on the Railway Safety Regulator to do a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the incident and to ensure that health and safety standards are met at all times. We must know what measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all workers. It is vital that we get assurances that this incident will not happen again.”

Hlubi-Majola said the union has called a meeting with Gautrain management to discuss health and safety standards.

“Numsa sends its deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the employee. We have instructed our officials to do all they can to provide them with the necessary emotional support. Furthermore‚ we will be assisting the family to claim benefits from the company‚” she said.

Meanwhile‚ the United National Transport Union (Untu) has threatened to withdraw the service of its members on the northern line in Cape Town if the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the police do not protect them from being attacked while on duty.

“Untu will never stop fighting for a safe working environment for all our members. Unfortunately‚ while the central line remains closed due to the constant vandalism of the line by criminals‚ it appears the crime spree on the railway lines has increased on the northern line‚” said the union’s general secretary Steve Harris.

“On Sunday a 35-year-old Prasa Ticket Control Officer‚ and three of her colleagues‚ all Untu members‚ were working on train 3203 when they were robbed by four armed men and a lady just before the Somerset Station.”

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