Western Cape Government condemns burning of train coaches in Retreat
The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela and the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, condemn in the strongest terms the burning of a motor coach last night at Retreat station.
One of the motor coaches of a train stationed overnight in the Retreat yard was destroyed. The fire was reported at approximately 10pm last night. No injuries were reported relating to the fire.
Minister Madikizela said, “Next week Wednesday, 22 January I will be meeting with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula once again to find a solution to this on-going saga. Since my appointment last year, I committed myself to work with Minister Mbalula and Prasa to deal with the challenges facing our rail system. It is always a concern that passengers especially school children, who have just returned to school, have to be inconvenienced by challenges facing the rail system.”
Minister Madikizela added, “I commend the City's Fire Rescue Service and Metrorail response teams for their swift response to the fire. I have been alerted that an investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the fire. However, I am deeply concerned by the frequency of these fires which endanger commuters’ lives, and contribute to increased congestion on our roads as commuters are forced to make use of taxis and busses, which are intended to be feeder forms of transport from and to trains.”
Minister Fritz said, “It is essential that those responsible for the fires be brought to book. For that reason, I have reported the issue of police inefficiency in investigating train arson to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Mr JJ Brand. I further alerted Mr Brand of this incident. Anyone with information relating to police inefficiency in investigating train arson is asked make their submission by 31 January 2020.”
The written representations should be marked for the attention of Mr JJ Brand and delivered by hand, post, e-mail or fax as follows:
- By hand: 6th Floor, NBS Waldorf Building, 80 St Georges Mall, Cape Town 8001;
- By post: Private Bag X9043, Cape Town 8000;
- By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- By fax: 021 483 0660.
Minister Fritz added, “I call on anyone with information regarding this particular fire to come forward and report such to their local police station or by calling 08600 10111. The destruction of the Western Cape’s transport infrastructure can no longer be tolerated as it is a threat to the wellbeing and livelihoods of our residents.”