The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will lead a march in Cape Town on Thursday morning to highlight its demand for a reliable and affordable commuter rail system.

Metrorail has for years been paralysed by vandalism and arson.

Cosatu Provincial Chairperson Motlatse Tsubane says they have had several meetings with the relevant stakeholders to raise their unhappiness about the state of public transport in the province.

He says they also submitted their demands through the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

“Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) cannot address its problems on its own because it’s a systematic problem, therefore government must come on board and deal with that situation. A certificate has been issued to us. We are marching to the City of Cape Town, we are marching to Prasa, up to the provincial government and Parliament where we will hand over our memorandum,” says Tsubane.

WATCH | Two arrested in connection with the arson of trains in Cape Town:

 

#UniteBehind in full support of the march

Civil society coalition #UniteBehind has come out in support of the march.

It says the central line has been out of commission since last year, forcing commuters to depend on expensive alternative transport.

The coalition says a properly functioning commuter rail system is crucial to building the economy.

In October 2018, #UniteBehind launched its Delay-Repay campaign that would have commuters using a paid-up monthly ticket for two consecutive months as a means of protest.

It also aimed to put pressure on Prasa and Metrorail to provide an efficient and reliable public rail service.

WATCH | Unite Behind launches Delay Repay campaign:

-Additional reporting by SABC Digital News