Cape Town - One of President Cyril Ramaphosa's priorities outlined in his State of the Nation Address will be to the fix commuter rail system, "which is vital to the economy and to the quality of life of our people."
During his SONA on Thursday, Ramaphosa said government would modernise the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA’s) rail network.
The president pointed out that over a million commuters use the country's rail network daily to travel to and from work, and yet the Central Line in the Western Cape and the Mabopane Line in Pretoria has been closed for essential refurbishment and upgrades for months.
Ramaphosa said: "We are investing R1.4 billion in each of these lines to provide, a safe, reliable and affordable service."
Last year, Metrorail suspended train services to the most populous areas of the Western Cape “due to the theft of more than 730m of overhead catenary wire in the Bonteheuwel/ Nyanga area”.
The president said work was underway on a number of other lines nationwide, including station upgrades, parkway replacements, new signalling systems and overhead electrical traction upgrades.