The Chamber is most concerned with the simultaneous torching of three Metrorail trains on Friday.
We cannot accept the status quo, where the rail system is supposed to be the backbone of commuter transport, yet is today very far from it.
We already have insufficient train sets, and putting more carriages out of commission just exacerbates the problem.
It is ironic that the Province and the City have each committed R16 million to train a new unit to enforce security, yet it is PRASA’s R16 million that was only paid of late – many months into the exercise.
There are three primary issues that we have identified. These include bringing a climate of law and order into the system, preventing theft of infrastructure and having enough rolling stock. The latest incident affects all three.
It is clear that PRASA is simply not capable of operating the service that we need. It is becoming clearer by the day that Metrorail has to be taken out of PRASA’s hands and we should even consider the severe step of privatisation.
The Chamber supports the call for a state of emergency to be declared, so that more national resources will be released to counter the destruction and violence that has become part of the daily experience of commuters.
President of the Cape Chamber