News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday September 15th 2019

Metrorail unveils infrastructure development plan

Metrorail Western Cape plans R263million upgrade

Projects worth R263million that would see the revival of the railway sector in the province was  announced yesterday by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Mosengwa Mofi.

Mofi was addressing officials from the City of Cape Town, some members of the public, the media and officials representing the Provincial Government of the Western Cape when he set for the Prasa’s plans for improvement.

Key challenges facing Metrorail were ageing rolling stock, theft and vandalism, high levels of required maintenance and out of date railway and infrastructure technology, said Mofi.

He said “the first step” was to make sure “the tracks are safe and (Metrorail) land is not invaded.”

“The service is under continuous pressure and we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing,” he said, while acknowledging that “Metrorail plays a very significant role as it caters for a large portion of the public transport sector.”

Of the R263million, R130m would go toward infrastructure replacement, R124m to assist with technology, electrical and facility upgrades in Philippi, Langa, Heideveld and Athlone stations.

The remaining R9m would go to fencing critical hotspot areas.

Dubbed the ‘Coalition of the Willing’, Mofi said crucial support had been pledged by Provincial Transport MEC Robin Carlisle, the police, organised labour and businesses.

Carlisle’s department had contributed R4.5million for fencing of priority areas.

Mofi said the reason it took so long for Prasa to fund and improve the ailing Metrorail infrastructure was because of bureaucracy and shortage of funds.

However, he expressed hope that the revamping steps taken would restore glory and commuter confidence in the services.

City’s Mayco member for transport, Brett Herron, said as a result of meaningful engagement with Metrorail, progress in “improving the customer experience” was being made.

Herron said the City was committed to working with Metrorail in solving the problems.

Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said the programme of action entails internal and external improvements and detailed actions are planned over the remainder of this financial year.

This included the employment of 200 security guards since February and 16 new trains of 12 coaches each were currently undergoing tests before being put on the rails.

Between now and the end of this financial year 1095 coaches would be refurbished, involving the installation of 15 400 new windows.

For the central line from Cape Town to Chris Hani and Mitchells Plein, 33 new trains would be rolled out by 2015, said Swartz.

Carlisle concluded that it was the first time Metrorail was “pulling all its challenges together.”–Sandiso Phaliso

 

Tags: Brett Herron, metrorail, Mosengwa Mofi., Mthuthuzeli Swartz, Prasa, public transport

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One Response to “Metrorail unveils infrastructure development plan”

  1. L. van Minnen says:

    Heard it all before. We have have been in litigation with the government/Prasa/metrorail for the past 11 years. I have thousands of documents in which all these promises have been made ad nusium. All we every got was lies and deceit. Ask PRASA/metrorail why they have ignored the ruling of the Constitutional Court and have also ignored the Settlement Agreement that they signed with the RCAG. If all the false promises and lies were not the order of the day one must ask why PRASA/metrorail are under investigation for the breach of the Railway safety Act of 2002 as well their operating and safety permits.

    Chairman
    Rail Commuters Action Group

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