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Ramaphosa to visit Prasa as agency test runs new trains in CT

President Ramaphosa will also be briefed by the rail agency on its efforts to improve commuter services and to stimulate economic activity through its modernisation programme.

FILE: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa interacts with commuters at Mabopane train station in Soshanguve on 18 March 2019 during the party's election campaign drive. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Tuesday visit to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in Cape Town to unveil new trains in the city.

The president will also be briefed by the rail agency on its efforts to improve commuter services and to stimulate economic activity through its modernisation programme.

Ramaphosa’s visit follows his recent personal experience of commuter frustration and technical problems with rolling stock in Pretoria.

Prasa will take Ramaphosa through elements of the passenger rail sector’s 20-year modernisation programme.

Prasa group CEO Nkosinathi Sishi said: “The programme started in Gauteng, and there are 18 trains on trial in the province. We’re now in Western Cape, and it’s important that the infrastructure is aligned with the quality and type of trains that we’re introducing.”

He says the aim is to introduce 35 trains by the end of 2020 in the province.

Sishi adds that there will be a test run on Tuesday at the Cape Town station.

“We call it a trial operation, which means the safety regulator is going to be given an opportunity to look at how they respond to the current infrastructure, whether or not we’ve complied with the fiscus of the safety regulator. And we expect that this is the beginning of rollout.”

WATCH: Ramaphosa’s first-hand experience of train commuter woes

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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