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Minister Mbalula apologises to WC train commuters after service suspended

Trains were suspended due to non-payment to Eskom.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has apologised to Western Cape train commuters after the service was suspended on Thursday.

Trains were suspended due to non-payment to Eskom.

The power utility has since confirmed receiving payment from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to have electricity restored and get trains back on track.

Mbalula last night addressed media at Cape Town train station, saying they met with Treasury not only to demonstrate the importance of allowing Prasa to retain the current baseline allocation but to also convert a portion of the capital budget to alleviate the operational budget challenges.

"I've explained that this is a broken place that we are reconstructing. So it's not a place that is easy. It's not like when the lights go off and we can't explain. I'm a minister and I've got to explain. I'm responsible for Prasa."

Mbalula described Treasury's budget on Wednesday as bittersweet for their efforts to turn the fortunes of Prasa around.

"It takes part of the money from Prasa away and that is the biggest challenge we are faced with in the shuffling and reshuffling of the work that needs to be done going into the future. It means that some of the plans we've got, including capital expenditure programmes, will suffer and then at the same time they will be delayed for some time."