South Africa: Commuters Left Stranded By Metrorail in Cape Town

"Every day when I arrive at work I am already exhausted because of the shoving and standing inside the overcrowded trains."

Hundreds of peak hour commuters were left stranded and confused on Monday morning.

At Salt River trains on both the Southern and Northern lines were stuck in both directions going to and from Cape Town.

I arrived at Salt River station at 7:30am. Finally I boarded a train at 8:16am. That train came to a halt at about 8:30am at Mowbray station, two stops later. Passengers were told to disembark after ten minutes. Some commuters had travelled all the way from Wellington, having boarded at 5am. They had abandoned their original train at Bellville when it got stuck. They changed at Esplanade, walking to Woodstock, only to get stuck at Mowbray.

"Of all my struggle incidents with Metrorail, today is the worst," said a commuter who gave her name as Maria. "Every day when I arrive at work I am already exhausted because of the shoving and standing inside the overcrowded trains."

Jeremy Mampies said that he left Klapmuts station at 5:20am. He finishes work at 3:30pm, but often only arrives home at 8pm. "I have to watch my back all the time because I leave home while it's still dark and return when it's dark again."

Spokesperson for Metrorail Riana Scott said that on Sunday cables were stolen near Salt River causing a high voltage surge. On Monday morning cables were cut and stolen between Kentemade and Ysterplaat. About 90 metres of 27-core cables were cut and stolen between Hazendal and Langa.

Scott said repairs are in progress but to expect delays of over 90 minutes.

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