In this file picture, a young man plays a dangerous game of train surfing while others look on.
Cape Town - The public protector’s office has confirmed that it is investigating Metrorail, after receiving a letter on August 29 from the provincial parliament’s standing committee on transport and public works.

The letter requests that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane urgently investigate the causes behind the ­myriad failures of Metrorail in the Western Cape. The chairman of the standing committee, Nceba Hinana, said Mkhwebane must also investigate the mismanagement of Metrorail by the Ministry of Transport and Prasa.

Hinana urged the public protector to also investigate the lack of convictions, arrests and general corruption within Prasa and Metrorail.

He said Metrorail continued to suffer from inadequate infrastructure, safety concerns, delays and cancellations.

Hinana said that Metrorail was expecting to launch its new network by next year.

Public protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said the request had been noted.

“The complaint will be allocated to the Western Cape office, and the provincial representative will assign the case to a senior investigator,” said Segalwe.

DA researcher and communications officer Joshua Chigome has urged the public protector’s office to make this investigation its “utmost priority”.

“Residents can no longer count on trains to get to their destinations. There has been a drastic decline in the number of Metrorail users in the Western Cape,” said Chigome.

“In 2014, Metrorail had over 608 000 passengers. By last year, the number of passengers dropped by 41% to just 360 000.”

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said it would study the DA statement before commenting.

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Cape Argus