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PRASA’s recovery moves backwards in restoring the railway system in the WC

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA) road to recovery in the Western Cape has been a long one with several stations and railways being destroyed in the process. The latest concern comes after Metrorail announced that its ongoing repairs to the railway line between Wellington and Worcester will be delayed, giving a vague notice that it would not be in operation until further notice.

However, the news couldn’t have come at a worse time as recently, the Southern Line had experienced more incidents of vandalism and theft to its Fish Hoek train station and infrastructure in the vicinity. It’s expected that these damages would cost at least R1 million to repair.

According to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) spokesperson on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape Ricardo Mackenzie, it’s a clear indication that National Government cannot support PRASA in protecting its assets.

“Almost four months ago, PRASA briefed our provincial Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works regarding their recovery plan to restore our railways and ensure that the train services are revitalised. Instead of moving forward, trains are standing still and rail recovery plans are moving backwards,” Mackenzie said.

Mackenzie reiterates that the rail recovery plans also included initiatives to boost security measures to prevent and mitigate the prevalence of rail-related crime.

“Critical questions need to be gauged with respect to the status of all railway lines in the province, as well as the status of the security and protection plans being implemented. Owing to the continual degradation of the rail infrastructure, I will be requesting that PRASA submit an updated report to the Standing Committee.

“We require urgent feedback in order to stop our transit economy being dealt these severe blows as Pretoria continues to allow PRASA to crumble,” Mackenzie expressed.

He went on to say that the only sustainable way forward is for National Government to give the existing budget and mandate to carry out all railway management to competent and capable provincial and local governments.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape remains the only province in the country to have signed an MOU with PRASA in 2019 in order to help bring about the change needed in this sector.


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