Pretoria - Commuters reliant on the Metrorail train service in the northern Pretoria corridor were on Monday forced to use alternative means of transport as the trains were temporarily suspended due to cable theft and damaged overhead wires.
"Metrorail train services in the northern part of Pretoria, between Mabopane-Belle Ombre-Dewildt and Pretoria North, have been temporarily grounded this morning [Monday] due to overhead cable theft on the up-line at Wintersnest and overhead wires damaged on the other lines at Wolmerton," Gauteng Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said.
"As a result of this theft, there is no overhead power supply in the affected sections. Mabopane and Dewildt trains from Pretoria Station are turning around at Pretoria North and there is no movement from both Mabopane and Dewildt stations."
Metrorail's acting provincial manager Goodman Matampi said "the vandalism and theft of railway infrastructure contribute negatively to a punctual train service" delivered to commuters.
"At the moment there is no commuter train service on both Mabopane and Dewildt corridors, however, Metrorail is making alternative arrangements in the form of buses to move commuters from the two affected stations to Pretoria North. We are expecting the buses that we have activated to start running as soon as possible".
Matampi urged residents to report such crimes to the nearest police station, and to security personnel at train stations so that perpetrators are arrested.
Metrorail said residents in the affected areas should note that "only loyal commuters with valid train tickets" will be allowed into the arranged buses.
Metrorail technical teams are already at affected areas assessing the damages and will start with repair work soon.
The Metrorail management apologised "for the inconvenience" and advised commuters to seek own alternative transport in order to get to their destinations on Monday morning.
African News Agency/ANA