Johannesburg – Trains between Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg were affected by a power failure and not by the ANC centenary celebrations as alleged by the DA, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Sunday.
A power failure as a result of a panto hook-up of a goods train happened approximately 150km from Port Elizabeth and no train could pass the affected area, group chief executive officer Lucky Montana said in a statement.
“We reject the allegations as baseless and devoid of fact. Neither passenger, nor goods trains are currently running on the affected section of the line as the line has not been cleared for the running of the trains.”
This comes after allegations made by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that train carriages managed by Shosholoza Meyl were commandeered by the ANC for their celebrations.
DA spokesperson Manny de Freitas said passengers on Shosholoza Meyl trains from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth were advised that they would be required to disembark in Bloemfontein on Saturday and then travel by bus from there.
“The ANC saw fit to misuse public funds to its own ends, with no regard to the inconvenience suffered by passengers forced to alter their travel arrangements,” he said in a statement.
However, Montana said all Shosholoza Meyl scheduled trains are running as scheduled and were not affected by the ANC’s centenary celebrations.
“The trains despatched to Mangaung are being run on a commercial basis as chartered trains,” Montana said,
“Prasa is deeply disappointed by this allegations by the DA. It would have been preferable if he had contacted us to verify the facts before going public with unsubstantiated facts.”