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#Metrorail: 'Vandalism to infrastructure tantamount to economic sabotage'

Metrorail in CT says severe delays in its services this morning are due to what it calls targeted attacks.

FILE. Three Metrorail carriages have been set alight at the Cape Town Metrorail station. Picture: Shantel Moses/Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant says recent acts of vandalism to Metrorail infrastructure in Cape Town are tantamount to economic sabotage.

Metrorail says severe delays in its services this morning are due to what it calls targeted attacks.

Delays of up to two hours were seen on many of the rail operator's routes in Cape Town this morning.

Grant has labelled damage done to Metrorail infrastructure as an attack on the state and its agencies.

Grant says ongoing incidents of vandalism are compounding an already strained situation, where commuters are forced to wait for trains longer than usual.

He says there's no justification for these acts, which he says threatens the safety and livelihood of others.

Metrorail says in a series of attacks, track circuits between Bontheuwel and Netreg have been damaged.

Infrastructure has also been damaged at Woodstock, Esplanade and Mandalay stations.

More than a dozen train carriages have over the past few days been gutted in arson attacks, derailing Metrorail services.

"We've had another bout of extensive vandalism overnight and a series of targeted attacks," the services' Riana Scott said.

LOCAL ECONOMY AFFECTED

Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged Metrorail to take urgent steps to minimise disruptions, saying constant delays in its services are having a negative impact on the local economy.

The chamber has suggested, if need be, Metrorail should engage other transport service providers to try and streamline its system and to beef up security even further.

The chamber's Janine Myburgh said, "It has to end, it's affecting our economy negatively. There is no way that this can be sustained, it has to end for us to continue to survive in this economy."

Metrorail has labelled these incidents as acts of sabotage.