Thousands of commuters stuck in Cape Town’s congested traffic are victims of crime and to a large extent corruption.
It has become clear that the traffic situation worsens when Metrorail system is in trouble and it is becoming clearer by the day that money which should have been spent on maintenance, security and modernisation has been consumed by crime and corruption.
Business is also a victim because unreliable public transport resulted in late arrival at work, a loss of productivity and stressed-out staff.
One cannot forgive the torching of trains which is totally unacceptable, it only makes the situation worse. One can however understand the anger and frustration of commuters torching the trains but in no way is it the solution.
The release of leaked e-mails had shed light on Transnet and PRASA’s strange deals and revealed that “middlemen” milked billions of rands out of funds destined to buy locomotives. This is corruption of the worst kind and the people of Cape Town are feeling the pain. We even had a chief engineer with fake qualifications involved in the ordering of the Spanish locomotives that proved to be unsuitable for our narrow rail tracks.
There is however room for sympathy for Metrorail management. They had not been given the resources to run a good service.