CAPE TOWN, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula must urgently engage State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Police Minister Bheki Cele to devise a plan of action to apprehend the “urban terrorists” targeting Cape Town railway transport infrastructure, the GOOD party said on Sunday.
The regional commuter rail service suffered another set-back this weekend with another train burning, GOOD Western Cape MPL Brett Herron said in a statement.
The city has seen several commuter trains set alight and destroyed over the recent past, with the latest being a train travelling towards Cape Town set alight between Kentemade and Century railway stations on Saturday afternoon. Six carriages and a motor coach reportedly burnt out.
In his statement on Sunday, Herron said Cape Town’s busiest rail line, the central line servicing Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, among others, had been rendered inoperable after a sustained and well-orchestrated campaign by sinister forces eventually destroyed the trains sets and disabled the signalling system.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) reported that this line would be inoperable until the end of the year, displacing thousands of commuters onto the roads network, at great expense to both commuters and to the roads capacity, he said.
“Now it appears that these sinister forces have moved onto the northern line. The next busiest service. Our governments need to see the pattern of sustained attacks on this critical infrastructure and service for what it is: urban terrorism, and they need to act with the urgency these attacks demand using the agencies trained to deal with such activities.
“We cannot allow our governments to wring their hands hopelessly while the backbone of public transport is systematically destroyed,” Herron said.
State security agencies and enforcement units within the South African Police Service (SAPS) were trained to deal with the planning and execution of these kinds of attacks. It was about time they were called on to bring this to an end.
“The national minister of transport must urgently engage with the minister of state security and the minister of police and devise a plan of action to apprehend those who will destroy our trains and wreak havoc on our residents.”
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato should immediately take steps to get the MyCiTi N2 express service to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain reinstated. This would bring some alleviation to the current transport crisis, Herron said.
Source: African News Agency