Joint Statement by Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, and Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
The Western Cape Government is offering a R100 000 reward to anyone who provides the police with information that will result in the arrest and successful conviction of those responsible for destroying train carriages through arson attacks on the Cape Town rail system.
The reward is being offered through the Department of Community Safety.
Arson damage to trains over the past four months has amounted to approximately R50 million, and at least R210 million over the past five years. Prasa requires 88 train sets to run an effective service. Currently, due to arson, cable theft, and vandalism, the available sets are down to below 40.
Premier Helen Zille said: “We are calling on those with information to come forward. The Cape rail system is the backbone that connects the people of Cape Town with their livelihoods, education and personal interests.
“The sabotaging of people’s daily commuting system is a direct attack on freedom of movement and has serious knock-on effects for the Western Cape economy and productivity. The organised criminal elements behind these attacks must be exposed.”
Minister Dan Plato said: “The R100 000 reward we are making available is our warning to these arsonists: You are being watched, you will be caught and we will not allow you to derail this province.”
Although Metrorail is the sole responsibility of the National Government, the provincial Public Works and Transport Department recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with PRASA and the City of Cape Town.
As part of this MOA, the Province contributed R16 million to improve Metrorail’s security measures. There are 100 additional security officials currently undergoing training by the City’s law enforcement, for deployment to guard trains and rail infrastructure.
Minister Plato added: “We urge rail passengers to report all crimes to the police and work with all law enforcement officials. Those responsible for the crimes are someone’s child, someone’s sibling or someone’s neighbour – these are the people that need to break their silence and assist the police.”