Commuters call for better lighting and security at Parow station

This follows the armed robbery of several people while waiting for a train around 6am on Friday

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Commuters are calling for Metrorail to install lighting and more security at the Parow station. This photo was taken just after 6am, a time when many people are travelling to work. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

  • Commuters were robbed at gunpoint at the Parow Metrorail station on Friday morning.
  • A person told us: “There’s not even one light that works at Parow station. It’s always dark.” This was our experience too.
  • Metrorail’s spokesperson said that commuters who have been robbed on the service and who can present valid train tickets can lodge a claim.

Train commuters at Parow Station are calling for better lighting and security on the northern line. This follows the armed robbery of commuters who were waiting for the train on the platform at about 6am on Friday.

Entering the station, the only lit area at Parow station is the corridor towards the Bellville platform near the ticket checkers and also at the front of the train station at the ticket office. The pathway from the stairs to the Cape Town platform is very dark before sunrise in winter. This is part of the reason the WhatsApp group with regular updates was started.

GroundUp has seen messages on a WhatsApp group on the route between Kraaifontein and Cape Town. It is run by commuters and has over 900 members. The group’s aim is to update members on train arrival times, delays and cancellations. Several messages about the robbery have been reported.

In February we reported that the Parow station, one of the busiest on the Northern Line, had resumed service for the first time since its closure for lockdown in 2020. During the closure, commuters had to walk to Tygerberg and Elsies River to catch a train to Cape Town.

Following the robbery on Friday, an eyewitness wrote: “Gunmen got into the station and started collecting phones like in the shop. Be aware! We asked PRASA and Metrorail to enforce security. I was almost 2 metres from them when they were busy searching other guys, so I ran. Parow station is very dark early in the morning. They must provide light.”

Another eyewitness, who asked that she only be identified as Yolande from Ravensmead, said she commutes from Parow to Cape Town and back daily. She said there’s usually one security guard in the mornings with a torch. “But on Friday I didn’t see him. I was still shaking when I reached workplace. I bought myself defence spray on my way home,” she said.

Another commuter, who travels daily at about 6:20am from Parow to Retreat, said she was traumatised by seeing the robbery. “I didn’t see any ticket checker or security. There’s not even one light that works at Parow station. It’s always dark.”

Metrorail spokesperson Zinobulali Mihi said that they did not have a record of the robbery incident. “There is contract security deployed at the station including our own Protection Services staff. We cover the early, off-peak and late trains.”

Mihi said commuters who have been robbed on the service and who can present valid train tickets can lodge a claim. “There is a claims process that is conducted by the claims department at our Business Risk department.”

TOPICS:  Crime Transport

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