Work on CT railway delayed, Prasa granted extension to relocate residents

Prasa this week approached the court to seek an extension on Friday's deadline to evict residents on the line to allow for further consultations with the affected communities.

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 - Work on the Central Line in Cape Town looks set to be delayed even further as Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) has been granted an extension to relocate residents living on the railway tracks.

Prasa this week approached the court to seek an extension on Friday's deadline to evict residents on the line to allow for further consultations with the affected communities.

In July this year, the Western Cape High Court made an order to evict people illegally.

Occupying Prasa property on or before Friday now they have up until July next year to clear the line.

Over 7 000 residents have illegally occupied railway lines in Langa, Khayelitsha, and Phillipi and as a result no trains have been in operation on the majority of the Central Line.

And while there were plans to refurbish the line – this plan has been delayed as the consultative process is still underway.

Land earmarked for Langa residents in Eerste River has been opposed by residents in the area – but Prasa said consultation is still ongoing.

"Closure of the central line has come at a huge cost and inconvenience for the hundreds and thousands of commuters who relay on affordable railway transport to get to and from work, not to mention the economy of the City of Cape Town" said Spokesperson Andiswa Makanda.

She said any relocation needs to comply with all statutory requirements.

READ: Prasa granted extension to relocate residents living on CT railway line