Level 3 lockdown: Prasa to resume services on 1 July at selected railway lines

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
GCIS

  • The process of rebuilding Prasa is ongoing and the government has taken decisions to ensure interventions.
  • It is not ready to resume commuter rail services from Monday and will only do so in a limited fashion from 1 July.
  • Engagements between the government, taxi and bus industries over relief fund continue. 


Prasa is not ready to resume its Metrorail commuter service on Monday and will only do so at selected railway lines from 1 July.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the department had concluded it was not ready to resume with commuter services.

"Under normal circumstances, if Prasa was a well-oiled machine we would not be asking many questions about the viability and its capacity to deliver in times of Covid-19.

READ | Level 3 throws a lifeline to airlines

"We know that we have challenges of congestion and safety measures at Prasa. If we don't pay attention to that, we will run a service that will become a transmitter of the virus.

"We continue to work closely with Prasa in assessing each line and have put measures in place to achieve an acceptable level of readiness.

"The revised target date is now 1 July on the Pretoria to Pienaarspoort; Cape Town to Simon's Town; East London to Berlin; and Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage lines," Mbalula added.

Resume

Mbalula said the department had concluded Prasa services would resume from 1 July.

"The Prasa rail network has been looted and with some of the regulations affected the work being done to refurbish and protect the rail network.

"We are in the process of rebuilding Prasa to be a formidable force and have taken decisions to ensure that we have intervention there."

READ | Govt to assist 1 520 artists, 296 athletes with relief funding

Meanwhile, engagements with the taxi industry over a relief fund were ongoing.

Mbalula said the department had briefed the National Taxi Alliance and Santaco about the progress the government was making.

"In principle, the government has agreed to support the taxi industry and what we are dealing with now are the modalities. The taxi industry is hard-hit together with the bus industry. The bus industry also qualifies for government relief.

"The long-distance taxi industry is the most hard-hit. We are looking at what needs to be done to alleviate their situation," he added.

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