Two women died on the central railway line, close to Nyanga, on Tuesday morning just as Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula was making his way on a train on the same line.
Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said the two women, in their mid-30s, were struck by a train. Police are investigating the incident.
Mbalula was in a train which was meant to travel from Chris Hani station in Khayelitsha to Langa, but, upon reaching Philippi, commuters in the train were told about the tragic accident.
The minister and a media contingent were then shuttled to Langa where Mbalula briefed journalists.
Mbalula said he was committed to end the struggles of the ailing railway line, "not only in the Western Cape, but in the country".
'The system has collapsed'
He said a turnaround strategy would involve stabilising, firstly the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), saying that a board which has vast knowledge, experience and a no-nonsense approach was necessary.
This, he said, would be done in three months.
"The president is committed to the issue of fixing the railway system," Mbalula said. "I mentioned to the deputy minister [of transport Dikeledi Magadzi] that the system has collapsed and it is up to us to fix it.
"If I cannot fix things then I must ship out," he emphasised. But, he promised that he was more than capable of fixing things.
"I went from Razzmatazz, to Fear Fokkol. I am now Mr Ficks (Fix) It. I am Thuma Mina, Mr Khawuleza," he added.