Public protector begins probing Metrorail failures
IN RESPONSE to a complaint about the “abysmal state” of Metrorail, PublicProtector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is meeting the chairperson of the standing committee on transport and public works today.
Committee chairperson Nceba Hinana’s meeting with Mkhwebane is the first step towards a full investigation on Metrorail failing to provide a safe, reliable public transport service.
Hinana sent a letter to Mkhwebane on August 29 asking her to investigate the “mismanagement of Metrorail by the national ministry of transport and Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa)”.
He also urged the public protector to investigate the lack of convictions, arrests and general corruption within Prasa and Metrorail.
The public protector’s office on August 30 agreed to investigate.
“I will enquire from the public protector as to what the next steps are for the investigation and what actions she has taken to investigate the matter so far,” said Hinana.
He said he needed clarity on many matters of concern with regards to Prasa and Metrorail, such as how corruption, if it exists, has contributed to its collapse.
Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said rail commuters in Cape Town were among the most vulnerable. “The majority are from low-income households and cannot
afford other modes of public transport. Commuters are subjected to violence, delays and dangerous conditions where carriages are overloaded and doors unable to close.”
Herron said some commuters had already paid with their lives “as we have seen during the horrific attack that took place on September 7”.
“Our commuters deserve a service that is safe, reliable, dignified, and I welcome any contribution and action that will assist Prasa and Metrorail, in addressing these challenges with the urgency and dedication required.”