Rail Enforcement Unit to finally be deployed in CT today

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith says 100 officers have undergone extensive training over the past few months.

FILE: Rail enforcement officers at the Cape Town train station. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – The long-awaited City Rail Enforcement Unit will finally be deployed on the Cape's rail network on Monday morning following a number of delays.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande officially launched the unit at Cape Town Train Station.

The unit is a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town, provincial government and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith says 100 officers have undergone extensive training over the past few months.

Eighty-four of them will be on duty on Monday.

“The Road Commuter Service has been under tremendous pressure and has suffered vandalism and damages due to arson attacks. We’re hoping that this additional staff deployed by the city will support our railway environment.”

At the same time, commuters are hopeful the newly established unit will improve rail services in Cape Town.

Nzimande says Cape Town's rail service was amongst the best a few years ago but this no longer the case.

“We’re then hoping that with this multiplier force, we’ll then be able to have a presence and ensure the safety of infrastructure and commuters.”

Commuters say they are hopeful the railway enforcement unit will help bring much-needed change as they are afraid of using trains.

Over the past several months, Cape Town's rail network has been ravaged by arson attacks.

The city says this pilot project will run for a period of at least 12 months.