100 days on the job and counting | Western Cape Government

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100 days on the job and counting

14 February 2019

A joint media release between Metrorail, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government

100 days on the job and counting - First quarterly statement on Rail Enforcement Unit 

Minutes into their first day on the job, they confiscated dagga on a train. One hundred days later scores of arrests attest to their impact on crime and order in rail precincts. Read more below…

In March 2018 PRASA Protection Services acquired surveillance technology, additional armed escorts and forensic capability to more effectively fight the scourge of debilitating cable theft and vandalism in the central service area. In collaboration with SAPS Rapid Rail Response Unit, various law enforcement agencies and private investigators 309 arrests were made, more than R22million rand worth of goods recovered and 26 convictions secured. 

On October 28th 2018, Minister Blade Nzimande launched the long awaited Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) as force multiplier to bolster the Western Cape’s fight against metal theft and crime in rail precincts. Since then the REU has participated in 133 joint operations, made 66 arrests and confiscated hundreds of meters of cabling, dangerous weapons and other items in the course of the 11 041 searches conducted.

Their presence improves crowd management on platforms and helps to enforce discipline on station platforms and trains by permitting only paying passengers access to stations and trains. This contributes to safe arrivals and departures.  

“It doesn’t often happen that all three spheres of government get to collaborate in this fashion, and to also record the successes that we’ve seen during the past three months. This is a very important milestone for all of us, from the leadership in government to the officials and officers who form part of this unit. The REU is making a real difference and I want to add, I’m expecting that more commuters will return to rail as the safety and security across the whole system improves over time. Passenger rail must be the backbone of public transport in Cape Town as it is the most efficient and affordable mode of transport. It’s in the interest of all of us who live and work here to ensure that this project succeeds and that we shift commuters from road-based transport to our rail service”, said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.

“When we launched this initiative in October last year, we were very clear in what we were setting out to do: To strengthen Metrorail’s ability to provide a safe and reliable as an urgent priority. The rampant violent crime, vandalism, arson, and theft had crippled the rail network, adversely affecting the thousands of commuters who rely on the service on a daily basis. Since inception, the Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) has been a valuable force multiplier providing much-needed manpower at operations targeted criminals who target the rail network with the intention to destabilize it. I am optimistic that the positive results and noticeable impact achieved thus far by the REU is a sign of greater things to come. We hope that over time, commuter confidence in rail transportation will be restored, and that communities will work with us in combating rail crimes “, said Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the RMTT, Donald Grant.

“We can see the REU’s force multiplying effect clearly, proving our contention that the more law enforcement agencies collaborate, the better crime is addressed and order restored on trains. Anecdotal commuter reaction to date has varied; some were unaware of the unit’s existence while others expect to find a security presence in every carriage of every train. Our collective challenge is to make security actions so visible and impactful that commuters are reassured that their safety is top priority for all law enforcers. “, said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager Richard Walker.

The public can assist the REU by reporting crime and vandalism, as this forms part of the intelligence that drives deployment and operations.

RRPU Cape Town (platform 1) 021 443 4325
RRPU Bellville 021 941 6800
RRPU Philippi/Stock Road 021 370 1011
RRPU Retreat

021 710 5129

RRPU Radio Control/OPS room 021 449 4309/10
SAPS Crime Stop 0860 10111
Crime line

SMS 32211

City of Cape Town Metals Theft Unit 0800 222 2771

Rewards of up to R25 000 are payable for information leading to successful conviction.

Media Enquiries: 

Alderman Felicity Purchase
the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport
Tel: 021 400 7197 or Cell: 083 629 0829
Email: felicity.purchase@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media.account@capetown.gov.za)

Riana Scott, Spokesperson: Metrorail Western Cape
Tel: 021 4496181 or Cell: 083 284 3508
Email: RScott@metrorail.co.za.

Siphesihle Dube, Spokesperson for the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 8954 or Cell: 084 233 3811
Email: Siphesihle.Dube@westerncape.gov.za.