On 14 June at 06:30, President Jacob Zuma bought a Metrorail ticket at Pretoria Station and took a southbound train at 07:10. According to the website www.joburg.org.za, the train was delayed for more than an hour and the president only arrived at Rhodesfield at 08:40.There he transferred to a Gautrain set and rode to Park Station in Johannesburg. After walking around the taxi rank at Park Station, he boarded a Rea Vaya bus and continued his journey to the Dlamini Multi-Purpose Centre in Soweto where he met community members.
Zuma was accompanied by finance minister Pravin Gordhan, new transport minister Ben Martins, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana, together with d other MECs and councillors – and a large contingent of police.
Commuters able to get close enough to the president complained about tMetrorail’s recent fare hikes, the lack of safety measures on trains and the overcrowding during rush hours.
With regard to Metrorail, Zuma was quoted saying: ” I have been told the trains are not reliable, there is no security and at times the trains just stop in the middle of nowhere. Workers are struggling to get to work, that is not good for the economy … I am more convinced now that we need faster and secure trains.”
Passenger Rail Agency of SA chairman Sifiso Buthelezi said additional trains are planned from 2014 but the old existing trains are currently “receiving a makeover”.