The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula indicated that he is satisfied with railway infrastructure upgrades in Western Cape as they look to salvage a dilapidated network that has been brought to its knees by criminal conduct.
Mbalula conducted an oversight visit of the Cape Town Northern Line and the Western Cape Rail Management and Traffic Control Centre in Bellville on Monday, 17 January. The purpose of his visit was to monitor the progress made in the station upgrade project after PRASA embarked on a series of station improvements in anticipation of service resumption as well as delivering the Annual Performance Plan through the National Station Improvement Project.
According to Mbalula, PRASA has already restored services in five of the seven corridors, however, work will continue in order to restore the commuter rail services in the Western Cape.
“On 28 December 2021, we returned to service the Retreat to Fish Hoek service after a 2-months shut down as a result of vandalism,” Mbalula said.
The Fish Hoek to Simonstown service was returned to service on 5 January 2022.
• The Northern line
• Cape Flats line
• Cape Town to Langa
• Cape Town to Kraaifontein
— FIKILE MBALULA | MR FIX (@MbalulaFikile) January 17, 2022
The Minister said the majority of stations on the Northern Line are in fair condition as this corridor had been a focus of PRASA’s station improvement program.
“Out of 34 stations, 5 of these had suffered extreme vandalism. These are Parow, Firgrove, Fisantekraal, Faure and Koelenhof,” Mbalula said.
Mbalula further mentioned that all 38 stations on the Southern Line are in a good operating condition requiring minor maintenance work. However, the Athlone and Maitland stations are of great concern that will be upgraded in the Cape Flats.
“The Northern Line corridor consists of 34 stations, the Southern Line including the Cape Flats section has 38 stations. The Central Line consists of 21 stations and iKapa area has 10 stations,” Mbalula added.
Meanwhile, major work of the notorious Central Line remains a top priority as PRASA is in the midst of implementing phase 1 of the Central Line recovery project to introduce the Langa to Cape Town Service via Pinelands station. This will allow the relocation of settlements on the rail tracks.