AfriSam, leading construction materials group, places safety at the forefront of its operations, acknowledging the importance of safeguarding its people and the communities within which it operates. As both a responsible employer and corporate citizen, the company’s unwavering commitment to safety extends beyond its own operations and into the realm of rail safety, particularly at level crossings, where road and rail networks intersect.
In collaboration with Traxtion, Africa’s largest private freight rail operator, and the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR), AfriSam was actively involved in promoting International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) campaign in June 2023. This global initiative, championed by the International Union of Railways (UIC), unites railway communities from 28 countries raising awareness of level crossing safety.
AfriSam’s commitment to “Zero Harm” reflects its strong belief in prioritising the safety and well-being of its employees and the community. This informed the company’s contribution to ILCAD with its focus on recognising the potential risks and hazards associated with level crossings on a day dedicated to saving lives and preventing accidents.
Nathi Shoba, AfriSam’s Quality Assurance Manager, expresses the company’s resolute commitment to safety, stating, “This is all about saving lives, and for this reason, we were extremely proud to play our part in International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD).” AfriSam’s involvement in the campaign reflects its dedication to proactive engagement, education and fostering a culture of responsible behaviour at level crossings.
Madelein Williams, Executive: Media and Communications and spokesperson for the RSR in South Africa, emphasises their primary objective of enhancing rail safety, a goal that often faces challenges when motorists and pedestrians fail to adhere to level crossing regulations. Williams expresses concern over the recorded 47 injuries between 2020/21 and 2021/22, as this undermines the RSR’s efforts to raise awareness and promote rail safety at level crossings.
To commemorate ILCAD, Traxtion, RSR and AfriSam collaborated on a private siding line connecting to the Transnet line, specifically selecting the bustling Ulco crossing in Northern Cape. This crossing serves both pedestrians, including school children, and motorists, posing potential risks and making it a vital location to address level crossing incidents.
“We call upon all rail operators to join us following this awareness campaign to ensure compliance with safety regulations for the sake of the public and railway operators at level crossings,” urges Thando Makoyi, SHEQ Compliance Manager at Traxtion and a former train driver.
AfriSam, together with its partners, remains dedicated to promoting rail safety, saving lives and fostering a culture of responsible behaviour at level crossings. By actively engaging stakeholders, raising awareness and advocating for adherence to safety measures, they aim to make a significant and lasting impact on rail safety in South Africa and beyond.