Eighteen arrests, including two for malicious damage to essential infrastructure | Western Cape Government


Eighteen arrests, including two for malicious damage to essential infrastructure

19 May 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) arrested nine suspects and inspected 147 hot spot areas and scrapyards the past week. Furthermore, the Metrorail Protection Services made nine arrests and ensured that 25 suspects remain in custody. Read more below:

Metrorail Protection Services arrested nine suspects this week and ensured that 25 offenders were denied bail. The teams also searched 1 042 individuals and patrolled 842 trains. Up to 29 illegally erected structures were dismantled and 49 street people removed from PRASA-owned property.

Furthermore, the REU conducted eight operations and 1 520 stop-and-search operations last week; inspected 147 hot spot areas and scrapyards; and conducted 74 patrols at stations. Two suspects were arrested in Delft and Ravensmead in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act for tampering and malicious damage to essential infrastructure; and another seven suspects were arrested in Bishop Lavis, Lentegeur, Langa, Claremont, Kraaifontein and Kensington for the possession of suspected stolen property, dangerous weapons, and drugs.

Arrests 9 Suspects arrested for robbery, damage to essential infrastructure, and being in possession of stolen property Arrests 9 Tampering and malicious damage to essential infrastructure, possession of suspected stolen property, dangerous weapons, and drugs
Trains patrolled 842 MPS and contract security Autonomous operations 8  
Confiscations 41 Knives, scissors, and tools that can be used to vandalise assets Confiscations 6 Knife, hack saw, spade, cutter, pliers, dagga, mandrax
Searches 1 042 On trains and railway stations as determined by crime pattern analysis


6 31m of copper cable, 16m signalling cable, 36kg copper cable, four suspension clamps
Legal Succession Act Schedule B (warnings/fines) 47 Holding train doors open, entering or exiting a moving train, crossing railway lines illegally at railway stations and in section and standing in between coaches while train is in motion Fines in terms of the Traffic By-law, general 4 R5 500
Street people removed 42

Woodstock - Salt River and

Bellville areas
Inspections of hot spot areas and scrapyards 147  
Illegally erected structures dismantled and removed 29

Woodstock - Salt River and

Bellville areas
Section 56 notices to appear in court 8  
Joint operations 0   Section 341 notices (fines) 0  
Safety campaigns 1 Level crossing Stop-and-search operations 1 520  
Court cases attended 25 No bail granted, all suspects in custody Complaints attended to 26  
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 the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works to focus on by-law compliance, metal theft prevention and to support 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.


‘Our focus on improving the rail service is unwavering as offenders continue to pay a high price for their crimes. Thieves mostly still target underground signal cable but our teams recover about 93% of it. Our teams collaborate well with various law enforcement agencies, the quality of their reporting is good and court submissions comply with prosecuting standards. We believe that this is the winning recipe for the high conviction rate in this province,’ said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.

‘The REU and other protection services did a sterling job this past week. The arrests in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act are very important because this act provides for stricter bail conditions and harsher sentences, including up to 30 years’ imprisonment for those caught and convicted for destruction of essential infrastructure. The purpose of this act is to ensure that those who undermine and sabotage our urban rail service stay behind bars for a long time. The more arrests we make the better our chances of stabilising the rail service and ensuring that the trains arrive and depart on time. This is ultimately what we want to achieve: to restore our commuters’ faith in rail so that more commuters shift from road-based transport to passenger rail,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.

‘The work of the REU continues to bear fruit and improve safety in the rail network. The progress we see and the arrests being made every week are encouraging and necessary to rid the network of all criminal activity. Using intelligence to address the issues at their source has been critical to the success of the various operations that the REU has been involved in. Hot spot areas and scrapyards are increasingly no longer the safe haven for criminals, with more and more stolen equipment being recovered. In all of our efforts to improve the conditions in our rail network, the safety of commuters and the reliability and affordability of the service remain our main priority,’ 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: 

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.