Western Cape train station power cuts message is false, Eskom says

2020-03-04 12:55
Commuters wait for a train.

Commuters wait for a train. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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A message circulating via WhatsApp claiming that five Western Cape train stations will be disconnected as a result of non-payment is false, according to Eskom.

The message reads: "Prasa have failed to pay their arrears by the deadline we set, which was 28 February. We are thus proceeding with disconnections until they pay.

"The disconnection of services will affect their railway facilities/stations in these areas, of Glencairn, Vasco - Goodwood, Firgrove, Nonkqubela station and Diepriver Station (sic)."

READ | Western Cape train chaos: Eskom starts restoring power after Prasa pays up

However, Eskom flatly denied the veracity of the message.

"I have not seen the message. We said last week they (Prasa) paid and we said the account is current," Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha told News24 on Wednesday.

On Thursday, 27 February, thousands of Metrorail commuters were stranded when train services were abruptly suspended as a result of "Eskom disconnecting traction supply".

Huge bill

READ | Why Eskom did not warn train users of cutting power to Metrorail

The disconnection was the result of an electricity bill of R6.5m which was 34 days overdue.

Mantshantsha insisted that the entity's account was current with the electricity utility.

"Today is 4 March, if there is money is owing, they are still within the month and their account is not in arrears."

On its website, Metrorail says it transports 1.7 million passengers per day in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

In the Western Cape though, the system is under pressure because there are only 34 train sets to run a timetable that calls for 88.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  prasa  |  eskom  |  cape town  |  public transport
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