Vandalism causing 'chronic delays' for Metrorail WC

A Mitchells Plain man has told EWN he often sees vandals destroying Metrorail property at night.

FILE: A Metrorail train burns in Woodstock on 22 January 2013. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A Mitchells Plain resident has told Eyewitness News how easily and regularly criminals vandalise railway infrastructure in the area.

Metrorail has warned of chronic delays to its service in some areas in the Western Cape this month, due to repairs that have to be carried out following incidents of vandalism and theft, which is costing the rail operator millions of rands a year.

A man who lives opposite the Kapteinsklip train station in Mitchells Plain says he often witnesses vandals destroying Metrorail property at night.

"What I've seen is the guys vandalise the fence around the station and the paving. It happens every day."

Metrorail says about 200 copper theft incidents are reported each year and that this is a major contributor to train delays.

Theft and vandalism regularly disrupt the more than 700 trains operating across six municipalities in the Western Cape.

The rail agency says it's spent more than R382 million, nationally, over the past three years, to repair its damaged property.