Johannesburg - Rail agency Prasa said on Wednesday that it had reaffirmed its commitment to pay its R16 million contribution towards the joint venture between itself and the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government to train and deploy an additional 100 security officers onto the Cape rail network.
"The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government has already made available their R16 million contribution towards the total R47.9 million that it would take to establish and operate the new unit for a 12 month period," said Cape Town's mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron in a joint statement.
“We are pleased that the training process of more than 70 security officers has already taken place utilising funding already made available, with the training of a further 30 officers set to commence shortly."
This followed the signing of a memorandum of agreement in May 2018 where they all committed to the establishment of special Rail Enforcement Unit.
“The continued attacks on the rail network that threaten the provision of this essential service demand our urgent intervention. We reaffirm our collective commitment to tackling these issues and working together towards our shared goal of improving passenger rail for the thousands who rely on the services daily," said Transport MEC Donald Grant.
“We are intent on placing the issues plaguing passenger rail at the forefront of the agenda at the upcoming Transport Imbizo with the National Department of Transport and National Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande."
The City of Cape Town, Prasa and Western Cape Government said they remained fully committed to working together in order to confront the scourge of vandalism, theft and crime that has been afflicting Cape Town commuters, and threatening the provision of a safe and reliable service. They said they believed that the specialised Rail Enforcement Unit would go a long way to turning the tide on the criminality that had become so synonymous with the rail network.
“Prasa is committed to working with all the parties involved in the proposed pilot project. The matter regarding the outstanding payment of the Prasa contribution to the pilot project will now be escalated to the Prasa Board," said Prasa rail Acting CEO Martha Ngoye.
"This pilot project is not the only initiative but part of a range of initiatives, of which some are already being implemented to secure our assets and more importantly improve the safety and security of commuters and staff."
* Receive IOL's top stories via WhatsApp by sending your name to 0745573535.
African News Agency (ANA)