Question NW394 to the Minister of Transport

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14 March 2022 - NW394

Profile picture: Mabhena, Mr TB

Mabhena, Mr TB to ask the Minister of Transport

(1)Whether, with reference to (a) the incident where an empty Transnet Freight Rail Blue train derailed at the Union Station Loop in Germiston on Sunday, 7 November 2021 and (b) two Blue train coaches derailing within the Salvokop Blue Train train-yard in January 2022, the Railway Safety Regulator can guarantee the safety of the public on these blue train coaches; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether the safety permits are still valid and in place; if not, why not; if so, on what date is it anticipated that the permits will be reviewed?


1. Operators are required to investigate all occurrences and report them to the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) in terms of section 38 of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002. The type of investigations the RSR conducts is where occurrences result in any of the following:

(i) Multiple (more than 1) injury or fatality in any occurrence category.

(ii) Significant damage to property including assets.

(iii) Significant environmental damage.

(iv) Any occurrences on the network which may attract media attention or may give rise to a possible evacuation of a community or part thereof, occurrences which may affect the normal public road usage or an injury/death to a public figure.

a) On 7 November 2021, at approximately 00h35 it was reported that Transnet Blue train that was staged at Union station had run away and derailed at SCAW SA siding. The RSR responded to the occurrence site to determine facts which contributed to the derailment.

Transnet Freight Rail has indicated that they are conducting a Board of Inquiry (BOI) into the cause of the derailment to establish facts surrounding the occurrence and develop recommendations aimed at reducing the recurrence of the occurrence.

b) On 16 January 2022 at 11h18 it was reported that A Blue train derailed during shunting at the TFR yard in Pretoria at 11h00. No injuries were sustained, no impact on assets and operations.

This occurrence does not meet the requirements for RSR to respond to site in accordance with the RSR procedures. Since it did not result in fatalities and/or injuries to operators’ employees, members of the public, and passengers. There were no injuries sustained and no impact to asset and operations as a result of this occurrence.

2. Transnet has one safety permit; the safety permit expires on 30 June 2022. Following a request from Transnet to submit their safety application in May month, their safety permit will be extended to expire in August 2022.

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