Another convicted cable thief behind bars, R200 000 worth of goods recovered | Western Cape Government

22Covid-19 Alerts

COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Dashboard

View Vaccine information

TB Information and Dashboard

View TB information


Another convicted cable thief behind bars, R200 000 worth of goods recovered

8 April 2019

Weekly statement on all rail enforcement actions – a joint media release from Metrorail, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government

The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) inspected 10 hot spot areas and scrapyards this past week, and PRASA’S multi-disciplinary teams recovered more than R200 000 worth of stolen goods in March 2019. Read more below:

Another cable thief remains behind bars after receiving a 10-year sentence that was suspended for four years. Furthermore, over the past week PRASA Protection Services and private security contractors patrolled 1 232 trains, conducted 1 324 searches and arrested five suspects, including one for the possession of drugs. 

The teams also attended 32 court cases, dismantled five structures and removed 12 indigent people from rail reserves.

Fines to the value of R21 600 were issued by the REU over the past week. Furthermore, 14 stop-and-searches were conducted.

Metrorail Protection Services and Private security contractor actions Number Detail *REU actions Number Detail
Arrests 5 Suspects arrested for being in possession of stolen property, drugs Arrests 0  
Trains patrolled 1 232 Regional schedule with a special focus on areas identified during crime pattern analysis Autonomous operations 1  
Confiscations 21 Hacksaws, drugs, cabling and various tools Confiscations 0  
Searches 1 324 Regional schedule of designated trains and stations


Legal Succession Act Schedule B (warnings/fines) 61 Holding train doors open, entering or exiting a moving train, crossing railway lines illegally at stations and in sections  and standing in between coaches in a moving train Fines in terms of the Traffic By-law, general 17 R17 000
Vagrants removed 12 Section Cape Town Inspections of hotspot areas and scrapyards 10  
Structures dismantled and removed 5 Section Cape Town Section 56 notices to appear in court 17  
Joint operations 4 With law enforcement Section 341 notices (fines) 6  
Court cases attended 32   Stop-and-search actions 14  
Convictions 1 10 years imprisonment (6 direct and 4 years suspended) Complaints attended to 0  
PRASA Protection Services is tasked to ensure Legal Succession Act compliance, crime prevention and commuter safety. * The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) is a special security initiative funded by PRASA, the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works to focus on by-law compliance, metal theft prevention and to support the SAPS Railway Police in the protection of commuters. Its 100 law enforcement officers are trained as peace officers with traffic warden and street survival skills and firearm competency and also focus on by-law compliance. The Unit’s performance is reflected separately to monitor performance and assess feasibility.


‘Well done on another conviction this past week. Due to the diligence of the teams a cable thief is behind bars for an effective six years with the remainder of his 10-year term suspended for four years. During March goods to the value of R200 000 were recovered as the teams steadily make inroads into crime. We are also encouraged that a drug arrest was made and will continue to clamp down on unsavoury elements on trains and at stations,’ said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.

‘We’ve seen in recent months that public transport is becoming more vulnerable to crime; not only the infrastructure, but also staff and commuters. This rail enforcement initiative could provide a blueprint for future interventions to safeguard our public transport system as a whole. Cape Town needs public transport that works, and works well, not only for economic stability and growth, but also to ease congestion by getting motorists onto our trains and buses. The REU is a step in that direction, but as recent incidents in the media prove, there is much work that lies ahead,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

‘We are heartened by the convictions for rail-related crimes that are being handed down by the courts. We have long held the belief that harsh consequences handed out by the criminal justice system are the only way to deter criminal activity, particularly crimes that occur within the rail network. We hope that more and more of the suspects apprehended by the REU and the PRASA security services will be effectively prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to time behind bars. We will continue to work with and support our public transport partners in ensuring that this happens,’ said the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the Rail Management Task Team, Donald Grant.

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

Metrorail Protection Services hot-line 021 449 4336/5056
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
Media Enquiries: 

Ald. JP Smith, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security    
Tel: 083 675 3780     

Riana Scott, Spokesperson: Metrorail Western Cape
Tel: 021 4496181 or Cell: 083 284 3508

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