Prasa working hard to address WCs rail issues - Matthews

Prasa CEO Zolani Matthews said that it was frustrating that they were unable to deliver on the service that the province should have on a regular and consistent basis.

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

CAPE TOWN - Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Zolani Matthews said that the Western Cape's rail transport woes were keeping him up at night.

He said that it was frustrating that they were unable to deliver on the service that the province should have on a regular and consistent basis.

Vandalism and the illegal occupation of train tracks on the central line are among the biggest problems that the rail agency is facing.

Matthews said that there were multiple problems to deal with in the Western Cape, particularly in Cape Town and the rail agency has been working very aggressively to address the issues hampering the service.

"We are beset by other challenges, such as vandalism, which is well organised - it is not just crime per se, it is very well orgnised, very well-coordinated and it seems they know what to target," Matthews said.

He said that part of their strategy was to beef up security by bringing on additional resources.

"We realise that our command and control systems are not effective, so we need to improve our command and control - that it is how we deploy our resources around and across the network."

He said that they also wanted to collaborate with local law enforcement in a better organised way.

"We actively have been speaking to the city about that as well as the South Africa Police Service, so the resources will be a combination of physical and we'll also be introducing new technologies to monitor the lines."

Another frustrating process is the rehabilitation of the central line. The president promised billions to upgrade the key arterial route but an informal settlement has sprung up over the tracks and Prasa has to conclude a protracted legal process before it can get started.

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