'Around R7 billion' will be spent on improving train services - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula conducted an oversight visit of the Cape Town Northern Line and the Western Cape Rail Management and Traffic Control Centre in Bellville on Monday morning.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula conducted an oversight visit of the Cape Town Northern Line and the Western Cape Rail Management and Traffic Control Centre in Bellville on Monday morning.
PHOTO: Marvin Charles/News24
  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has committed R7 billion to be invested in improving trains.
  • Mbalula conducted an oversight visit of the Cape Town Northern Line and the Western Cape Rail Management and Traffic Control Centre on Monday.
  • He said critical infrastructure was either vandalised or stolen during lockdown at some stations.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has promised that R7 billion will be invested in improving trains.

Mbalula conducted an oversight visit of the Cape Town Northern Line and the Western Cape Rail Management and Traffic Control Centre in Bellville on Monday morning. He also took a ride in the new blue train, dubbed the "people's train".

Mbalula said "the time is now" for reliable transport to be implemented.

He added:

This train will be rolled out nationally and this will improve our services. We will be spending around R7 billion to improve the services overhauled.

Mbalula said since the declaration of the State of Disaster, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) had been forced to halt all travelling.

ALSO READ | 'Our trains are going to be running again': Mbalula promises billions to fix SA's ailing rail system

"Despite the easing of the travel restrictions, critical infrastructure was either vandalised or stolen at some stations," he said.

The minister said two stations of concern in Cape Town will be upgraded – Athlone and Maitland stations.

All 21 stations on the Central Line require extensive upgrades and have been prioritised as part of the Prasa Central Line Presidential Project.

"The stations on the Central Line are at different stages of upgrade as part of the National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP), which commenced this financial year and is due for completion in the first quarter of the 2022-23 financial year," he said.

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