THE KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mxolisi Kaunda, has commended Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Transnet for speeding up repairs on the North Coast corridor railway line, which resumed operation on Monday. Last week, Kaunda received a briefing from the management of both rail parastatals which confirmed that the repairs on the line, which resulted in the suspensions of trains, would be completed by Friday, October 19. This paved the way for the reinstatement of train operations on the corridor which includes areas such as Phoenix, Verulam, Tongaat and KwaDukuza. “Prasa decided to suspend trains on the line because it was not safe for commuters and employees due to cable theft and aging infrastructure which affected time travelled by commuters. This threatened the lives of train drivers as trains were not arriving on time and causing commuters to be agitated,” said Kaunda. He urged members of the community to work with Prasa and the police to apprehend criminals who continuously vandalise the infrastructure. Kaunda also thanked members of the community, particularly train commuters, for being patient while Prasa and Transnet was fixing the line, saying: “As a caring government, Prasa took this drastic step to suspend trains because we wanted to ensure that commuters are safe and improve travel times.” Commuters had mixed reactions with regards Prassa operations.Train user Dudu Msezana said: “It’s been a difficult three weeks because one earns R180 but now it’s like you work for R126 for trans- port as we had to use taxis every day.”Another commuter, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We really appreciate the MEC’s intervention because the costs were starting to become unbearable.” The MEC committed to convene regular follow up meetings with the police, Prasa and Transnet to ensure that train operations are not disrupted further. He also urged commuter forums to regularly engage with passengers to ensure that there is a constant flow of information.