Metrorail to apply for permanent interdict over vandalism

In the wake of a spate of arson attacks & vandalism, Metrorail is turning to the courts yet again.

A Metrorail passenger train arrives at Mutual Station in Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail is heading to the courts today to apply for a permanent interdict following a spate of arson attacks and vandalism, which have all but crippled its services across Cape Town.

The rail operator had secured an initial interdict after the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) called a strike earlier this month.

But in the wake of a spate of arson attacks on trains, as well as acts of vandalism, the company is turning to the courts yet again.

Metrorail's Richard Walker says, "The major concern for us is to ensure they get commuters from point A to point B. That has been our focus for the past two weeks. "So we're quite confident that during the course of today and tomorrow we're in a process of doing a lot of the repair work in particular on the area centralised."

LISTEN:_ Western Cape Metrorail boss Richard Walker gives an update on train services._

Meanwhile, thousands of train commuters have been affected by constant delays and cancellations.

It's become a test of commuters' patience, the ability to endure seemingly endless problems with Metrorail services in the Cape.

This week trains on most routes have been even more overcrowded than usual, due to heavy delays caused by vandalism and signal failure.

One commuter, who has been traveling on the central line for more than twenty years, says overcrowding and inconsistent services have worsened.

Another man says despite the many problems plaguing the rail network, the train is still the best option for him.

"I don't have to sit in long unwanted traffic. If it's on time there's no issues."

The recent incidents of vandalism and arson have been described as economic sabotage.