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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU shocked at level-crossing accident

13 July 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is shocked and appalled at the death of at least 19 farm workers in a train crash in Mpumalanga this morning. The workers, fruit-pickers being taken to work, were being transported in a truck which was at a level crossing between Hectorspruit and Malalane, when the train smashed into it.

This terrible tragedy exposes once again the scandal of workers bring transported in open trucks. In a country where drivers and passengers of cars are legally obliged to wear seat-belts, how can we tolerate workers being transported with absolutely no protection in the event of an accident? The law must be urgently strengthened to make it compulsory for all passengers in all vehicles to be securely seated before those vehicles are allowed on the road.

The accident also points to the need to re-examine all railway level crossings to make sure that drivers are fully aware of the approaching hazard.

There must be the fullest possible public enquiry into the accident, to find the cause, and anyone found to have been guilty of any offence severely dealt with.

We send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and best wishes to the 24 who were injured for a full and speedy recovery.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za