Mbalula: Prasa to roll out limited train service on Cape Town’s central line

Mbalula visited the key route to assess work being carried out as part of efforts to get trains back on tracks.

Cape Town Central Line. Image: @MbalulaFikile

CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says a limited train service will be rolled out on Cape Town's central line.

Mbalula visited the key route on Friday to assess work being carried out as part of efforts to get trains back on tracks.

An informal settlement has prevented the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa) from fully reopening the central line that's been rendered unusable since 2019 due to cable theft and vandalism.

Mbalula said a limited train service, which was part of the first phase of the project would be instituted on the central line between Pinelands and Langa. The central line is the backbone of the rail services in the Mother City.

“Among others, the things that would have been sorted out is the incremental capacity in security in this particular area. We do have security and the patrol zones are bound in this particular area, but the plan is to increase on that.”

Raymond Maseko, infrastructure manager at Prasa Western Cape, said they had deployed an internal security team to protect the repair work they were doing.

“Even when we are not here, there is constant security.”

Prasa wants to reopen the central line but can’t move beyond Langa station because of people living next to the railway track, leaving thousands of commuters to seek alternative and often more expensive travel options.

FINANCIAL BURDEN DUE TO VANDALISM

Mbalula decried the financial burden of constant vandalism and wanted Prasa to do more to protect the rail infrastructure.

The minister stressed the rail agency should have better security measures.

Prasa is aiming to complete phase one of its project to reopen a section of the central line by July.