Prasa set to implement court order to clear central line of illegal communities

Thousands of people have been occupying the train tracks for many months in areas such as Langa and Phillipi but soon they will have to vacate.

The informal settlement of Lockdown has sprung up on and around the Metrorail's central line in Philippi, Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said that it was working around the clock to implement a court order to have the central line in Cape Town cleared by November.

Prasa has been granted a court order to evict residents and has up until 26 November to do so.

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government was investing R1.4 billion to fix the line that transports thousands of commuters daily.

Thousands of people have been occupying the train tracks for many months in areas such as Langa and Phillipi but soon they will have to vacate.

Chairperson of the Prasa board, Leonard Ramatlakane, said that they had spoken to community members occupying the train tracks but they were reluctant to move.

Therefore they had to approach the courts.

"The court agreed that we need to get the people to move so that we can make a way for the rail and the work that must be done by Prasa."

He said that they were talking to communities who had erected structures on and around the train tracks, as well as the Housing Development Agency to prepare land in Eerste River.

"Two portions of land are available there to accommodate those communities there."

Ramatlakane said that there were over 8,500 people occupying the railway line area.

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