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I have invited PRASA to appear before the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’ Standing Committee on Transport for an update on the state of the Western Cape’s rail services.
South Africa’s cost of living crisis is spiraling out of control as the cost of fuel continues to skyrocket. Trains remain the cheapest form of public transport but commuters still bare the brunt of the ANC National Government’s blatant inability to get rail services to work optimally.
Cape Town’s Central Line in particular has not been fully operational for years. In January, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula promised that the Central Line would be fully functional by July, only for this deadline to be pushed further back to December. Following yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy of an almost R2,57 fuel increase, motorists and commuters alike need urgent answers on when the Central Line will be fully operational.
MPP Ricardo Makenzie says, “The continued challenges related to rail services is an impediment for millions of commuters who rely on train services as the only affordable public transport service they may have access to. It is for this reason that I have invited PRASA to the Standing Committee to ensure that clear feedback is provided on when rail services in Cape Town and across the province will be fully operational and to demand answers for their continued shortcomings in getting rail services to run smoothly. The meeting has been scheduled for 5 August and I trust that PRASA’s executive will honour this invitation in the interest of accountability and transparency.”
The ongoing challenges with rail services in South Africa highlights the urgency with which train services should be devolved to capable sub-national governments. And it is for this reason that the DA welcomes the City of Cape Town's feasibility study on taking over the management of the passenger rail, which got underway on 1 July 2022.
Issued by Ricardo Mackenzie, MPP - DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Transport and Public Works