Violent attacks may lead to the suspension of Metrorail services, Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) CEO Mosengwa Mofi said on Friday. Prasa says even though its mandate is to provide railway services, a spate of vandalism incidents on rail lines is costing the state company millions of rands. Mofi says they have decided to perform a risk analysis reviewing whether or not to run these services.
“It is concerning to us that we spend millions fixing problems that are created by members of the community. We are concerned about safety of our passengers, ticket personnel, security and drivers. Despite our mandate, we will be taking precautionary measures to avoid losses. There will be losses if services continue to run under the current circumstances,” says Mofi.
A group of protesters set an empty train alight at Chris Hani station on Wednesday evening, forcing the train driver and guard to flee. On Thursday, Mofi visited Khayelitsha to assess the damage to a train and station facilities that protesters set alight. Four carriages were burnt and are now currently out of service. R8 million was spent to replace the carriages and damage to one of our overheads.
“We have many concerns which include the money we spend on repairs and replacements of equipment and the loss of the lives of passengers and staff. The situation is currently volatile, particularly around the Khayelitsha area,” says Mofi.
He emphasised that these services are not adequate to run at the expense of lives.
“We risk losing lives and injuries if we operate under current circumstances,” says Mofi. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)