Cape Town – The public protector’s office has met with the chairperson of the standing committee on transport and public works, Nceba Hinana, and DA chief whip Mark Wiley to start the investigation into Metrorail.
Hinana had earlier complained about the “abysmal state” of Metrorail and asked the public protector to investigate the “mismanagement of Metrorail by the national Ministry of Transport and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa)”.
He also urged, in the meeting with the public protector, to investigate the lack of convictions, arrests and general corruption occurring within Prasa and Metrorail.
Some of Hinana’s concerns in the meeting were the quality of service Metrorail offers to the commuters, such as the lack of security in Metrorail trains, saying Metrorail should have its own securities.
Hinana questioned why Prasa is not using technology such as CCTV cameras for security purposes. Hinana said the deployment of a dedicated rail enforcement unit in the city has been delayed by a month, due to Prasa’s failure to adhere to a co-funding agreement.
He said his office and Mkhwebane’s had agreed to give regular updates on their investigations every two weeks. The meeting was in response to a letter it had received on August 29 from the provincial parliament’s standing committee on transport and public works.
The letter requested that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane urgently investigate the causes behind the myriad failures of Metrorail in the Western Cape. Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said rail commuters in Cape Town were among the most vulnerable.
Herron said the majority of commuters were from low-income households and could not afford other modes of public transport.