METRORAIL'S woes are set to continue for the foreseeable future, driving more commuters on to Cape Town's already clogged highways as the parastatal battles the cable thieves who have crippled services on most lines.

Cable thieves on Saturday destroyed equipment belonging to Neotel, which is used by Metrorail and maintained by Transnet, causing limited services from Sunday, with buses shuttling commuters between stations.

On Tuesday, Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott was cautiously optimistic that services would be restored by Wednesday.

City of Cape Town traffic manager Maxine Jordaan said more people have resorted to other modes of transport such as buses, taxis and their private vehicles.

“It has caused an increase in the peak-hour traffic volumes. Peak-hour would have finished by 9am on most of the busiest routes but this week we noticed that it finished at 10am,” Jordaan said.

“It's going to get worse. There's going to be a lot more traffic along the roads as more people go to malls with schools closing this week,” she added and advised people to car-pool when commuting to and from work.

Cape Chamber of Commerce chairperson Janine Myburgh said Metrorail’s latest crisis had impacted negatively on businesses. "Out-of-the-box solutions will be required,” said Myburgh.

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