New Rail Enforcement Unit to hit CT stations this week

The unit will provide visible policing on trains and at stations, and will act against vandalism and theft of cables, copper, and other infrastructure.

FILE: Seventy-one Rail Enforcement Officers will be deployed to the Cape Town rail network in October. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Many eyes will be on the new Rail Enforcement Unit that’s hitting the ground in Cape Town this week.

The City of Cape Town, provincial government and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have invested more than R47 million into the safety and security venture.

The unit will provide visible policing on trains and at stations and will act against vandalism and theft of cables, copper, and other infrastructure.

WATCH: Metrorail to receive some much-needed boots on the ground

In September, the Western Cape Legislature heard about some of the problems hampering policing efforts along the rail network, including broken CCTV cameras.

Nceba Hinana, a chairperson of the Provincial Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works, has welcomed the introduction of the new unit.

“Metrorail does not have a dedicated intelligence unit to investigate and combat crime. Media reports have suggested that R69 million was lost to train damages over the past four months. Furthermore, at least R120 million in damages is estimated to have been accrued over the past five years,” says Hinana.

Last week, following a Prasa parliamentary briefing and yet another train fire at Cape Town station, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said intelligence around these types of incidents will need to improve.

LISTEN: Rail Enforcement Unit to be rolled out this week in the Western Cape

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)