Attack on Metrorail and Public Transport Must Be Met With Harshest Consequence
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Yesterday evening (26 October 2014), Metrorail’s ability to deliver on its essential mandate was once again threatened when a suspected arsonist damaged nineteen carriages, causing millions of rands of damage. A total of 35 carriages in eight incidents have either been lost or damaged as a result of fire/arson in 2014 alone.
These acts must be condemned in the strongest terms by society as a whole, and must be met with severe consequences so as to deter perpetrators and other would-be perpetrators. The thousands of commuters that rely on public transport daily cannot continue to be held ransom by the actions of a few criminals who have a brazen disregard for the law and the needs of others, particularly during this matric examination period.
I support PRASA Rail CEO, Mosenngwa Mofi’s, condemnation of these acts and opposition of bail for the suspected arsonist. The courts must assist us to send a clear message to criminals threatening state assets, that acts against the state will not be tolerated and will be met with the contempt and consequences that befit them.
I would like to commend Metrorail Regional Manager, Richard Walker, and his team for the hard work that they have put in throughout the night, to lessen the effects that this act has had on commuters.
My department continues to work closely with Metrorail on a number of issues relating to their service, and has provided funding to support their efforts in addressing security issues at some of their stations though our scramblers and high mast lighting project. We will continue to provide such assistance where possible, in keeping with our objective to provide safe and reliable public transport in this province.