A progression of assaults on staff, seizing and vandalizing of trains has prompted the suspension of Metrorail service in Mamelodi.
The passenger rail agency of South Africa (Prasa) said it chose to uncertainly stop activities in the regions to secure life and property, with harms as of now running into millions of rands.
Metrorail spokesperson Nana Zenani said during a radio interview: “In a period of less than a week, more than 10 employees were attacked and withdrawn from operations. In addition, more than six trains were withdrawn from service due to malicious damage.”
Zenani said damage was worth over R6 million.
She described a recent attack on one of the female drivers. “She was taken out of the cab, hit on the head with a rock and dragged into the bushes by a group of men.”
Tshwane MMC for roads and transport Sheila Lynn Senkubuge condemned the attacks.
“Members of the public need to realise that vandalising public property will not resolve any of their grievances. Instead, this will undermine their ends to get better services as is the case in this instance with the suspension of train services in the Mamelodi corridor.”
Commuters are urged refrain from destroying public property, and instead utilise the commuter forums, which were available to them, to raise their grievances.
The destruction of public property has a severe impact on our local economy, both as the city and the province. The Prasa’s decision to temporarily suspend services along the Mamelodi corridor has, for instance, put unprecedented pressure on other public transport services such as minibus taxis, the A Re Yeng bus services and other bus operations.”
She said the suspension would have a ripple effect on various aspects of people’s lives.
“We call on commuters to exercise restraint while the metro engages with Prasa to find a lasting solution to the current situation.”