South Africa: Cape Town Central Train Line Still Suspended As Officials Seek Cable Theft Solution

12 December 2019

Train commuters on Cape Town's central line are still without rail services as continued fears over cable theft, safety and subsequent repairs have hindered Metrorail's services.

For the last month, commuters from areas such as Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain have been forced to make use of alternative transportation. Metrorail's central line has been suspended since the first week of November.

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott told News24 on Thursday constant cable theft and other safety concerns to employees have made it difficult to secure the problematic areas.

"The services are suspended indefinitely until an interim strategy - to secure the area and employees sufficiently to enable repairs and maintenance work - is implemented," Scott said.

"Work will only be able to start once these interventions have been implemented.

"Immediate and constant theft of cable make the rate of repairs unsustainable which could result in fruitless and wasteful expenditure."

Scott said a more holistic approach had been taken to implement surveillance and early detection technology as well as securing the affected areas through enclosure.

"Reinforced concrete security walling was piloted in the Western Cape to test the feasibility of enclosing the most vandal-prone areas such as Bonteheuwel, Netreg and Nyanga, and this concept will be rolled out to critical areas in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng."

In the meantime, commuters will have to continue finding their way to work by other means.

Last month, the rail service in Cape Town was hit by another common scourge when 18 train carriages were destroyed in a suspected act of arson, News24 reported.

Early investigations by Metrorail revealed the use of accelerant to start the fires.

Metrorail has released the footage captured on CCTV of two suspects wanted for the fires.

Two teens have since been arrested in connection with the incident, News24 reported on Wednesday.

News24

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