Cost of vandalism to rail infrastructure stands at over R4bn, says Prasa CEO

Group CEO Zolani Matthews has briefed the media on his first 100 days in office, saying his team was concentrating on security.

FILE: Prasa CEO Zolani Matthews. Picture: Twitter/@MbalulaFikile

CAPE TOWN - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said the cost of vandalism to rail infrastructure totaled just over R4 billion.

Eyewitness News has been reporting on the theft of railway infrastructure this year with rail tracks taken away and stations plundered.

Once beautiful and majestic station buildings have been reduced to damaged structures as thieves make off with anything that is not bolted down.

Group CEO Zolani Matthews has briefed the media on his first 100 days in office, saying his team was concentrating on security.

Matthews said Prasa had faced high levels of vandalism over recent months. He said more staff had been recruited and were also sourcing different technology options to protect assets.

Speaking about the looting of the rail network on the East Rand and in other parts of the country, he said measures were being put in place to stop this.

“Additional security personnel, and the deployment of tactical resources, we hope is going to meet ongoing projects not only in the East Rand but across the country, in Gauteng and the Western Cape in particular. But certainly, KwaZulu-Natal has not been excluded.”

Meanwhile, the Central Line in the Western Cape has also been an issue for some time now as people have erected shacks on and along the tracks.

This line has been vandalised extensively and Matthews said this matter was also being addressed, adding that work was being done.

“My colleagues are in ongoing engagements with their counterparts, both from the City of Cape Town, and the head of department in the ministry of provincial transport, those discussions have been very positive,” Matthews said.

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