Vandalism cripples Metrorail services
Cape Town - Vandalism continues to cripple Metrorail services, causing more than 6 000 train delays this year, the Cape Times reported on Thursday.
Regional manager for Metrorail in the Western Cape Lindelo Matya said R5.5m had been spent in the last six months repairing vandalised trains and equipment.
"We acknowledge that the service we are rendering is not at a comfortable level. The main issue that bedevils us is vandalism," he said.
"We have been accused of cutting costs but that is far from the truth. Vandalism is costing us and we are not going to sit back. Last week, 11 people were arrested for theft and vandalism."
In the past six months vandalism had caused 289 trains trips to be cancelled, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
Those cancellations were due to damage on trains. Damage and theft of rail equipment had resulted in 6 489 train delays in the past six months.
Matya said Metrorail would also boost security services where trains were parked at night. He said this was where most incidents of vandalism and theft occurred.
Despite the problems, Matya said the number of commuters continued to increase. In the past year, the number of passenger journeys increased from 36m to 42m.
"This increases the pressure on trains but it tells us that we need to speed up increasing the capacity of our services."