Deadline to open Stellenbosch rail link pushed out two months

Metrorail to run again at the end of February

By Liezl Human

17 January 2024

Photo of Stellenbosch Metrorail station

Stellenbosch’s train station has been refurbished. Photo: Liezl Human

The Stellenbosch line is expected to open by the end of February after years of closure, according to Metrorail.

Metrorail has pushed the deadline out by two months after promising that the line from Stellenbosch would resume by the end of 2023.

When GroundUp visited Stellenbosch’s Du Toit station in December, the rail tracks were covered with bushes and debris. On Tuesday, when we visited again, most of the bush and debris had been cleared.

The two train stations in Stellenbosch – Du Toit and Stellenbosch – were clean and refurbished, there were no signs of vandalism, the buildings were locked up, and both stations had security officials manning the stations.

Acting Regional Manager Raymond Maseko said that Metrorail had “repaired the major vandalism” and now the Stellenbosch station required some basic cleaning.

In July Metrorail said that contracts for the Stellenbosch and Strand lines had been awarded “to recover the electrification network” and that work was underway. The train service from Strand resumed in November 2023.

Maseko said that the plan to restore the Stellenbosch line was delayed after a “substantial part of the track was washed away” during the floods in September and this is currently being fixed.

Metrorail services have gradually resumed since collapsing during the Covid lockdown due to theft and vandalism. The Southern line partially reopened in July 2020 and became largely operational in January 2022, though with far fewer trains than five years ago. The Northern line partially resumed services in March 2022 and opened further in January 2023.

The Central Line partially reopened in March 2023 after being closed for more than three years. But large parts of it remain closed.

GroundUp published stories describing the collapse of Metrorail long before services stopped during Covid.