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Prasa accused of being silent on bus service for Central Line commuters

Shacks erected on the Central Line just outside Langa station. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Shacks erected on the Central Line just outside Langa station. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 28, 2021


Cape Town - The chairperson of the Transport and Public Works committee in the provincial legislature, Daylin Mitchell, has accused the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) of being silent on the development of a proposed interim bus service to supplement the limited functioning of the Central Line.

As part of a three-phase recovery project that was launched by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, his deputy, Dikeledi Magadzi, and former Prasa administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo at the Langa train station in March last year, 80 buses were promised to transport affected Central Line rail commuters since last year.

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In November, the provincial government and Prasa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to revive the line. However, Mitchell said the proposal was under consideration by Prasa.

He said they were concerned that Prasa has allegedly avoided responding to their questions since October last year.

“Whilst we know that the provincial and City governments have taken tangible steps towards supporting the rail agency, silence from Prasa leads us to question whether or not it has met its obligations outlined in the MoU,” said Mitchell.

He said they were seeking clarity from the agency on, among other things, updates on operational and non-operational train stations and sets, total kilometres of rail not in use due to vandalism and theft, and Prasa’s steps to address the illegal occupation of land on train lines, which prevented the roll-out of operations.

Prasa board chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane said Prasa has headed work to make sure that they reinstate the services that have collapsed as a result of the vandalism of its properties.

Ramatlakane said they have been working with the City and the provincial government to make sure there is land for people occupying Prasa land.

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He said they could not afford the budget to hire buses, and they did not have sufficient buses.

Cape Argus