Cape Town - 120503 - Donald Grant chats to school going pupils in the Golden Acre who are late for school in an attempt to find out the causes for chronic tardiness of pupils. PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER

Cape Town pupils who take the train to school in the CBD say frequent train delays, especially when it rains, were the main cause for them arriving late at school.

They were speaking to Education MEC Donald Grant and Public Works and Transport MEC Robin Carlisle, who were at the Golden Acre shopping centre to monitor the effects of train delays on pupils. Pupils generally walk through the centre from Cape Town station to get to school.

Some pupils said the delays were more frequent on Thursdays and Fridays and on rainy days, like on Thursday.

Metrorail said Thursday’s delays were caused by damaged cables at Philippi station, leading to defective signals between Kasselsvlei and Bellville, while the Malmesbury train had broken down at Stikland station.

This meant northern and central lines had been delayed, some for more than 90 minutes.

Carlisle said that because of problems such as security and train shortages, it was inevitable trains would not run on time.

Grant said that, late trains notwithstanding, many pupils did not wake up in time, and he urged pupils to wake up a bit earlier until Metrorail became more organised and reliable.

Metrorail has said it will table a plan to address late trains and other problems. This followed a Cape Argus and EyeWitness News project in which staff documented their train travels – see @MetrorailDiaries and #MetrorailDiaries on Twitter.

Cape Argus