Both the Southern and Northern Lines have suffered yet another round of train service cancellations following more incidents of theft and vandalism.
Metrorail announced that delays and further cancellations between Klapmuts and Paarl station were possible due to vandalism occurring along the infrastructure in the area. Just this week on the Southern Line, 18 train services were cancelled without any explanation given.
On the other hand, the Northern Line has been rendered virtually immobile and train services between Wellington and Kraaifontein has been suspended as a result of further overhead cable theft.
“These recent matters are of extreme concern to us, as the consequences are twofold. Firstly, residents who rely on train transport are effectively being told to pay more money to find other means of travel,” said MPP Ricardo Mackenzie, which means that more of their earnings has to be taken away in the midst of an economic recession.
“Secondly, these cancellations will prevent much-needed revenue being collected by the entity. As such, their ability to turn around the institution continues to be hampered,” Mackenzie adds.
“As Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works, I have already submitted a series of parliamentary questions relating to the Northern and Southern Lines in order to ascertain the full impact of these actions. We also await an updated report as per my recent commitment this week. We can no longer be left in the dark as to what is, or is not, being done to restore an essential contributor towards public transport.
“The time has now come for serious conversations to be had. There is no point in having endless meetings and committees if the promises being made by National Government are not committed to and implemented. The time now has come for rail to be devolved to competent, subnational governments,” Mackenzie concludes.