Latest Suspected Metrorail Arson Attack Must Be Condemned
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
In the early hours of this morning, a suspected arson attack on Metrorail carriages resulted in the destruction of four motor coaches and six plain trailers. The attack occurred at Cape Town Station shortly before 2am this morning, causing millions of rands in damage. A total of 20 carriages have been lost to fire this year alone.
I appeal to those with information to assist the SAPS in their investigation that must lead to the arrest, successful prosecution, and conviction of those responsible for these criminal acts.
These acts must be condemned in the strongest terms by society as a whole, and must be met with severe consequences so as to deter perpetrators and other would-be perpetrators. The thousands of commuters that rely on public transport daily cannot continue to be held ransom by the actions of a few criminals who have a brazen disregard for the law and the needs of others, particularly during this matric examination period.
The Metrorail system is already operating at a shortage of train sets, with more needed to make the service more efficient. The problems at Metrorail are only exacerbated by arson attacks aimed at destabilizing the system, and unfairly prejudicing commuters.
I have been in contact with Metrorail Regional Manager, Richard Walker, since the early hours of this morning, offering our support to him and his dedicated team, as they work tirelessly to resume normal service.
Criminal acts will not deter us from our mandate of providing safe and reliable public transport to the people of this province.