Deliberate sabotage of Cape rail infrastructure causes cancellations along the southern line

Sabotage and vandalism causes cancellation of trains. Photo: Metrorail

Sabotage and vandalism causes cancellation of trains. Photo: Metrorail

Published Mar 11, 2022


Cape Town – Metrorail has suffered another setback as vandalism and attempted theft left commuters along the southern line stranded.

It said it has implemented additional and immediate security interventions as well as launching an investigation into the theft and vandalism of an Eskom cable that feeds electricity to the Main Traction substation which powers the running of the trains.

This comes after earlier this week, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Eskom technicians repaired the same line after it was deliberately cut by criminals during load shedding.

Metrorail said Prasa and Eskom were working around the clock, again, to repair the same 33Kv line after it was cut and left at the scene during peak commuting services.

This affected the flow of the train service.

According to the acting regional manager for Metrorail in the Kaparo Molefi commuters travelling from Cape Town to Muizenberg were left stranded as trains had to be cancelled at Retreat Station due to power supply failure at 6.30pm on Thursday.

“The attempted theft and vandalism of the electrical infrastructure, on a line that has been successfully restored back to service while Metrorail works to restore the rest of the lines, points to blatant sabotage of Metrorail Services which we will not tolerate,” Molefi said.

He said Metrorail will be engaging with Eskom as well as law enforcement agencies to launch a probe into this sabotage.

The southern line’s full service was operational on January 4.

The commuter service introduced new trains on February 25, to operate during peak times along the southern line as it phased in its new set of trains.

“The southern line service is our demonstration corridor of what we are bringing to the Western Cape.

“The sabotage of our rail infrastructure is jeopardising the hard work of returning the service to those who desperately need it.

“We are determined to return the rail services and we will not cower to criminals,” Molefi said.