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'Metrorail delays impacting jobs'

Disgruntled commuters say the recent delays have devastating effects on their jobs.

Thousands of commuters between Nyanga, Mitchell's Plain, Khayelitsha and Cape Town have been affected. Picture: Mia Spies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail fears if vandalism continues on its busiest line it may be forced to cancel its services on the route altogether.

Cable signals were badly damaged on the Philippi line early on Wednesday morning on which thousands of commuters travel daily.

With more than R2 million in damages and thousands of frustrated commuters, Metrorail says it's dealing with a logistical and financial nightmare.

The parastatal's Richard Walker says it's been forced to look at the sustainability of the service on the Philippi line.

"If this is going to continue, it's not sustainable for us to spend the type of money we're spending on daily basis to repair stolen signal equipment."

Security guards were shot at as criminals made off after stealing the cables.

DEVASTATING DELAYS

Train commuters in Cape Town have complained about constant delays as the rail service's busiest route is out of service.

Tens of thousands of commuters have been affected by the suspension of the service on the Phillipi line since Wednesday morning.

Metrorail says signal cables have been sabotaged at Phillipi station, affecting commuters from Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha.

This disgruntled Metrorail commuter says they dependent on the service, but are fed up with delays which have devastating effects on their lives.

He says delays have a direct impact on his job.

"There's no explanation to the boss. The boss doesn't want to hear that the trains were late."

Metrorail has urged residents from areas beyond Nyanga station to make alternative arrangements until the signal lines have been repaired.

Meanwhile, the rail giant has laid a charge of sabotage and attempted murder.

Metrorail has arranged alternative transportation which will see train commuters shuttled home.

Walker says it will require a mulitimillion rand operation to repair the line.

He remains confident, however, that the perpetrators will be caught.