Cable theft leaves Shosholoza high and dry in the Karoo

2015-09-30 10:58
A stranded Shosholoza Meyl sits on the tracks in the Karoo. (Supplied, News24 User)

A stranded Shosholoza Meyl sits on the tracks in the Karoo. (Supplied, News24 User)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban – Cable theft has reached such high levels that the crime has now prevented a major train network from working efficiently.

The Shosholoza Meyl was brought to a halt on Monday after an overhead cable was stolen, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) spokesperson Lesedi Mapheto has said.

The train came to a standstill in Nelspoort between Beaufort West and De Aar. Speaking to News24, Mapheto said trains travelling to both Cape Town and Johannesburg had to be stopped.

“This is a very opportunistic crime and makes it logistically difficult for us to work around. We have security teams in place but with over 2 000km of railway, this becomes challenging.”

Adele Ankiewicz, a passenger on the Shosholoza, took to Facebook after she was stuck “in the middle of the Karoo for over five hours”.

“Resources are running out slowly with only a finite amount of water. There was a little girl on the train who was sick throwing up all night. Not a single person, from the train driver to the manager has any idea how long we will still sit here as the temperature climbs and the water trickles out,” she wrote.

However, Mapheto said passengers were given the option of taking a bus to their destination.

After the cables were replaced, the passengers could finally be on their way again - this time without incident.

“We made a number of contingency plans, including having extra food, water and first aid for people who required it. While there may have been unwell individuals [on the train] we cannot predict this occurred because the train stopped," Mapheto said.

Regarding time taken for repairs, he said that was also out of their hands. "Sometimes engineers assess something, but alternate issues arise,” he said.

Mapheto said Prasa took the cable theft matter very seriously.

“It was not just one train that was halted. We also had others stopped. Think about it this way, if we are transporting coal to Eskom and cable theft stops our trains, a direct negative impact on our economy is made. We urge communities to join us in this fight and identify these [cable theft] culprits.”

Read more on:    durban  |  transport

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.