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.”


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