Prasa trying to get Cape Town's central line up and running again

Thousands of people are still occupying the train tracks in Langa and Phillipi.

The Philippi train station has been vandalised, with criminals stealing just about everything. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Officials from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) are working around the clock to get services running again on the central line in Cape Town.

Thousands of people are still occupying the train tracks in Langa and Phillipi.

On Thursday, Metrorail took the media on a ride-along to the central line.

What was once a hub of activity, is now an empty building as criminals have stolen just about everything at the Phillipi station.

Bricks, wires, equipment, and some of the tracks have been stolen.

A few metres away, people have erected shacks along and on top of the tracks and formed settlements such as Lockdown and Level 5. They've made themselves comfortable here - fencing their homes and building toilets.

Prasa has many plans for this line but first, they have to remove the residents, who they are now talking to.

Nombolelo Mgidlana, who is a volunteer at the station, said that trains were needed on the line.

"We need the trains back because people are suffering. The taxis are very expensive, so the train is better, it's much better," Mgidlana said.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that the central line in Cape Town would be fully operational by the end of July.