Metrorail recovers services in WC after telecomms affected by cable theft

The rail operator was forced to cancel the bulk of its services with only a shuttle service running between Bellville and Kraaifontein.

FILE: Metrorail says vandalism and cable theft causes major delays and cancellations on a daily basis. Picture: Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail on Tuesday said technical teams in the Western Cape had started to recover services.

Vandals cut critical fibre optic cables in Salt River and Wynberg affecting all telecommunication services in the region.

The rail operator was forced to cancel the bulk of its services with only a shuttle service running between Bellville and Kraaifontein.

Officials believe the vandalism is deliberate and aimed at disrupting an already limited service.

Metrorail's Nana Zenani said: “The operation team is busy designing an afternoon service and they have warned of residual delays in operations.”

Meanwhile, Zenani said a body was discovered in the vicinity of a railway line between Athlone and Crawford.

The deceased was apparently electrocuted while trying to steal live 11 kilovolt lines and was found lying on the ground under the cables.

The rail operator said while it took 80 miliamps to stop a human heart, the victim was hit with 1,500 milliamps.

Zenani said they were forced to cancel services last Monday due to cable theft in the same area.

“The amount of vandalism has now taken a step into economic sabotage. We want to raise the alarm to say, vandalism and copper theft has now reached levels where it is debilitating to the country and we need to have conversations on how we deal with acts of sabotage and damage to government property.”