Extra security for Cape Town train commuters

File: Metrorail in the Western Cape would use the national department of environmental affairs’ new product for building a wall along the most critical sections of the central line. Photo: Getty / myLoupe

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the Western Cape government agreed to establish a dedicated enforcement unit to focus on the safety and security of Metrorail commuters and infrastructure, the city said.

Details about how the dedicated enforcement unit would be funded, established, and managed would be addressed in a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Prasa, the City of Cape Town, and the Western Cape department of transport and public works.

It was foreseen that the MOA would be finalised and signed within the next few weeks. The cost to establish and operate the unit for a period of 12 months was estimated at R45-million.

"The city is ready and willing to contribute R16-million to get this plan off the ground. I have asked the TDA’s acting commissioner to reprioritise projects and to find the money somewhere in our budget, and he did," mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said.

"I am grateful that we have agreed on a starting point to address the safety and security issues to stabilise the urban rail service in the short-term. A lot still needs to happen, but I think we have achieved our goal for the summit by agreeing on a plan of action that can be implemented as soon as possible," he said.

Prasa acting CEO of rail Mthuthuzeli Swartz committed to contributing R3-million per month to the city for managing and deploying Metrorail’s security service personnel with immediate effect. The R3-million contribution to the city was for the training and efficient deployment of about 1,500 security personnel.

In addition, Metrorail in the Western Cape would use the national department of environmental affairs’ new product for building a wall along the most critical sections of the central line to secure the infrastructure that had been under constant attack over the past few months.

Metrorail Western Cape regional manager Richard Walker expressed his appreciation to his principals, welcoming the landmark addition of surveillance technology to increase the rate of conviction in the Western Cape region.

"Now that criminals can be successfully caught and convicted, we call on communities to increase their reporting of criminal activity in and around railway precincts," Walker said.

African News Agency

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