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Talking about a Devolution: Getting Passenger Rail Back on Track

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Talking about a Devolution: Getting Passenger Rail Back on Track

Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office

6th December 2022

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When Statistics South Africa conducted its National Household Travel Survey in 2013, more than 10% of Western Cape households surveyed reported using trains – in 2020 this dropped to just 3.1%.

In 2013, 13% of workers used trains as their main mode of transport, but in 2020 that percentage dropped to less than 2%. The main reason cited for this decrease is the non-availability of train services.

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In its 2020 report the International Rail Journal stated that “hundreds of kilometres of overhead cables, signalling wires and catenary masts have been stolen, affecting every Metrorail route in Gauteng.”

It went on to say that on the “once busy 35km main line between Johannesburg Park Station and the western mining town of Randfontein, around 60km of cable was stolen during the lockdown alone. No commuter trains are running on this line, while the handful of Transnet-operated freight trains still running are often caught in cables left dangling by the thieves.”

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Submitted by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office

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