The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has confirmed the burning of another eight train carriages at Cape Town Station today (9 October 2018). The destruction of these Central Line carriages brings down the already inadequate number of trains available on this line from eight to seven. This is the 40th train burning incident in the Western Cape since 2015, bringing the total number of destroyed carriages to 175.
The attack took place in spite of a request by the Regional Manager for increased surveillance on the day of a meeting in the National Assembly between the national Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande, the Deputy Minister of Transport, the Rail Safety Regulator, PRASA and the Portfolio Committee on Transport.
“There seems to be a pattern of occurrences of arson whenever senior officials or politicians meet in the area. We find this extremely concerning because it is as if the timing is deliberate” said Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works Donald Grant.
“The situation simply cannot continue and I will be approaching the National Minister for emergency assistance,” said Grant. “Not only are these criminals destroying vital infrastructure, but they are sabotaging the means that hundreds of thousands of people use to get to work, school and home,” he added.