Carol Paton Writer at Large

There are many contenders for the most inept minister in the cabinet, but when it comes to the biggest hypocrite Blade Nzimande wins hands down. Nzimande is not an ordinary member of the cabinet; he is the highest-ranking communist in it and so, one would imagine, is particularly alive to the concerns and needs of working class people. But when it comes to public rail services — a large part of Nzimande’s area of responsibility — he has shown little interest in the problems of rail commuters who, as the working class, are the constituency he believes he represents. The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) is in crisis. That crisis is evident every single day as commuters crush to get into overcrowded trains due to their summary cancellation and long delays, and people are killed riding on top of trains and between carriages or crossing tracks. Train drivers, who are seen as responsible for slow or late trains, are attacked and on occasion killed when they get out of the train to ch...

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