Cape Town commuters stranded again as cable theft brings trains to a halt

Metrorail must prioritise security, say commuters

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Commuters at Fish Hoek train station discovered trains were not operating on Wednesday. Photo: Steve Kretzmann

Rail commuters in Cape Town were stuck on Wednesday as trains came to a halt again following cable theft. Trains were affected on the Southern and on the Northern lines.

Metrorail spokesperson Zinobulali Mihi said the disruptions between Bellville and Tygerberg train stations were due to cable theft and vandalism. Affected stations included Bellville, Tygerberg, Eersterivier, Maitland and Bay Junction.

Metrorail was repairing the damage and putting security guards at strategic points, Mihi said. Meanwhile Metrorail was operating a shuttle service between Kraaifontein and Wellington, and between Fish Hoek and Salt River stations.

This is the second time in two weeks that services have been disrupted. On 26 January Metrorail’s cables were stolen in Paarden Eiland, leaving commuters stranded.

Commuters GroundUp spoke to said the train service should step up security.

“The stealing of Metrorail cables for copper has long been a problem, and by now security should have been beefed up and prioritised,” said Eric Harford from Bellville.

Another commuter, Max Dyani, said: “When I arrived at the Bellville train station at about 7am there were scores of people waiting and no one seemed to know why there were no trains, until after 8am an official explained that cables had been stolen. How long will this phenomenon of stealing cables go on before the perpetrators are caught and sent to jail?” Dyani takes a taxi from Nyanga to Bellville to board a train to his work in Kraaifontein.

He said it was unfair that he and other commuters had to be stranded for hours with no explanation. “Metrorail does not care about its own customers. They should prioritise guarding infrastructure,” he said.

TOPICS:  Prasa / Metrorail

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