Plans in place to deal with CT Metrorail crisis

The central line was suspended last week following the murder of a security guard in Khayelitsha.

FILE: Metrorail says vandalism and cable theft causes major delays and cancellations on a daily basis. Picture: Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Collecting forensic evidence, installing solar panels and deploying additional police and armed guards are just some of the measures Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is taking to ensure the Metrorail service runs efficiently.

LISTEN: Off track: What's happening with Cape Town's rail system?

Officials from the Prasa, Metrorail and the United National Transport Union (Untu) have gathered in Bonteheuwel on Thursday morning for a briefing on the state of the central line.

Prasa CEO Cromet Molepo says as part of their plan to clamp down on criminals stripping copper cable, officials will now treat the area as a crime scene and collect fingerprints from cable left on the ground.

“The problem is that our technical team, in the quest to restore the service, has been destroying evidence. An incident happens at night, we rush to repair the service. In the process we destroy evidence.”

Molepo says there is a conviction rate of what he refers to as a “lousy 5%” because the suspects are charged with a minor crime, the possession of stolen goods.

The central line was suspended last week following the murder of a security guard in Khayelitsha.

It was scheduled to reopen on Wednesday following an agreement between Prasa and train drivers' union Untu, but infrastructure damage at Nyanga station made that impossible.

The operator is also investigating a train derailment between Heideveld and Netreg, which may have occurred because of a vandalised points machine on Thursday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)