The Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the department and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) are concerned about vandalism of infrastructure at train stations. The minister stated this during a media briefing on Monday after visiting several train stations in Johannesburg.
Train station which are vandalised includes the Kliptown station which he said was vandalised during the lockdown. The minister said Prasa received R57bn in the medium term, a “large part” of the department’s budget. He said this illustrates the department’s commitment to ensuring the accessibility of rail transportations in poor communities.
“We often refer to this infrastructure, as government infrastructure, this is a misnomer; this is public infrastructure that we must guard jealously ourselves by ensuring that we report all those who sabotage our efforts by stealing and destroying it,”
The ministers said vandalism and theft worsened during the lockdown due to a lack of security.
“There is overcrowding and it will worsen because we are providing a limited service. As we fix and bring back the corridors that have collapsed since we shut during level 5 of lockdown, we need to bring back these corridors and ensure they are properly secured,”
“Gauteng Metrorail is experiencing an alarming increase in the number of reported cases for infrastructure theft and vandalism, ranging from overhead electrical lights to vandalism of stations. We have had to shift from having our trains run on electricity to diesel, which is very expensive for Prasa.”