Setback: track theft hits local tourism

2008-08-25 00:00

Metal thieves have struck again. This time they stole parts of the old railway line between Cedara and Hilton. Six metres of track was stolen last week.

It is believed that the thieves used a cutting torch to cut the line.

Des Eatwell of the Natal Railway Museum said the theft is a big blow to the tourism industry.

“The theft could not have come at a worse time as we recently applied to take over the Cedara to Hilton railway line for our tourism project. Incidents like this will have a negative impact on the economy. All our plans will have to be put on hold,” Eatwell said.

Ramsey Mavundla, a supervisor at Transnet Security, said Transnet has intensified its security in order to curb similar incidents. Railway track is now marked with special paint to make it easy to identify.

“We normally conduct patrols on a weekly basis, but after this incident, we are compelled to patrol on a daily basis. Our railway lines are the prime targets because of the metal value. We are appealing to scrap dealers not to purchase scrap from anyone without proper identification,” he said.

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