- A Durban Metrorail commuter Philile Nzimande was recently fired after the train she was on stopped due to power failure
- This seems to be a common issue facing commuters who make use of the rail system to get to work and back
- Complaints regarding Metrorail include poor maintenance, frequent delays and cancellations
A Durban Metrorail commuter Philile Nzimande was recently fired from her job after delays left her stranded.
"He didn't even wait for me to explain why I was late. I was just told to pack my things and leave," says the distraught Philile.
The commuter says that she arrived two hours late after her train from Umlazi experienced a power failure and stopped dead in its tracks.
"When the train finally arrived, I still had to walk 20 minutes to get to the office. By then I was sweaty and anxious, trying to explain to my manager that coming late was not my fault," she said.
Philile Nzimande had been working at the company for two months, this was five months ago.
GroundUp recently reported that when they had visited Dalbridge Train Station last week Philile, 30, was one of a group of people waiting for a train to arrive. She had been travelling home from what she described as “yet another fruitless day” of job hunting.
"I have been waiting for a train for almost an hour," she said. "I have no choice but to continue using the train because it is the cheapest option. Buses and taxis cost twice as much,"
This is not a unique story amongst Durban commuters who make use of Metrorail. Complaints of frequent delays, cancellations and poor maintenance abound.
Another man who was a trainee engineer and had asked to remain anonymous said that he feared for his job due to the constant delays.
"I was given a final written warning because the irregular times and delays of the train," he said.
"I need to be at work by 07:00 sharp for fieldwork. One morning, the train was delayed due to power failure. Now I take two trains that are less crowded from the urban areas. This means I travel at least two hours from Umlazi to Umbilo. It's a compromise I've had to make to keep my job," he said
Zama Nomnganga, who is the provincial spokesperson for Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, declined every opportunity GroundUp gave to comment on the matter.
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