South Africa: Improvement in Metrorail Performance

There has been a slight improvement in Metrorail's performance since the operation of the Ministerial War Room on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

"By Monday afternoon, 78% of scheduled train trips ran, with 53% of them running on time. On Tuesday morning, those figures rose to 86% of scheduled train trips running and 73% of them running on time," said the Department of Transport.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday unveiled the Ministerial War Room on Prasa, aimed at aggressively improving the quality of the country's passenger rail service.

"The War Room also detected the burning of two train carriages in Cape Town. Thanks to its swift action, the matter was attended to, the scene was cleared and services were recovered within four hours," the department said.

The war room began operating on Monday.

"The War Room is supported by a Technical Task Team primarily made up of experts with in-depth knowledge and experience in rail operations, signalling, rolling stock, security, business process, engineering and modelling.

"The job of this War Room is to monitor Metrorail's operations daily and ensure the implementation of turnaround strategies," Transport Ministry spokesperson Ayanda Allie Paine said.

The War Room has three focus areas: service recovery, safety management and accelerated implementation of the modernisation programme.

The Minister's intervention will continue until the end of the 2019/20 financial year, with defined targets expected to be realized by 31 December 2019 and sustained beyond this date.

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