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No new trains for Cape Town until security improved, says Metrorail

In the latest incident over the weekend, six carriages were destroyed when a train caught alight on the Monte Vista line.

FILE: A Metrorail train set alight in Firgrove, Cape Town. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail on Sunday said it would not roll out new trains on the Western Cape’s railway tracks until authorities clamped down on arson attacks.

In the latest incident over the weekend, six carriages were destroyed when a train caught alight on the Monte Vista line.

It's not yet clear what caused the blaze.

Barely two weeks ago, a train coach was badly damaged in a fire at the Retreat station.

Metrorail’s Richard Walker said: “They must also indicate plans around implementation and rolling out the trains. There must be more policing on the stations and the trains once we roll it out.”

Walker explained that new train sets, which would eventually be introduced in the province, were built to withstand fires.

“It’s different from the old trains that burnt easily.”

ARSON

Metrorail strongly suspects arsonists are behind the latest attack on a train in Cape Town.

Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela is frustrated: “We have more than 1,600 security personnel in our 103 stations. It’s puzzling for me that these people are unable to catch the perpetrators and give them the harshest punishment.”

Madikizela claims police are not helping.

“You can’t tell me that if we have intelligence that we have not cracked these cases. What are the motives and who stands to gain from this?”

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