3 separate CT train fires cost Metrorail R19m

Metrorail says damage caused by the Steenberg train fire will cost approximately R8 million, another in Retreat is set at R5 million and an Ottery blaze will cost R6 million.

A train is alight at Steenberg Railway Station on 18 June 2018. Picture: Supplied by CoCT fire & rescue services

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail says damage caused by train fires over the past month amounts to R19 million.

On Monday, three carriages were set alight at Steenberg Station.

It was the third train fire in Cape Town within the space of a month.

Metrorail says damage caused by the Steenberg train fire will cost approximately R8 million, another in Retreat is set at R5 million and an Ottery blaze will cost R6 million.

One person died in the Ottery fire.

Metrorail's Richard Walker said: “We’ve already started the increased visible deployment on trains during those sorts of off-peak period.”

The United National Transport Union (Untu) says these arson attacks are not coincidental.

Untu spokesperson Sonja Carstens adds that a holistic approach is needed to solve Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa) ongoing problems, involving the agency, government and police.

“We cannot expect Prasa to police force on its own. We do believe the South African Police Service lacks the necessary crime intelligent to tell us what’s going on because up to now, they’ve not come up with a plan.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)