Metrorail will not be able to run services on the Southern Line, specifically between Retreat and Fish Hoek. Picture: Supplied / Metrorail
Metrorail will not be able to run services on the Southern Line, specifically between Retreat and Fish Hoek. Picture: Supplied / Metrorail

Fears Western Cape could be without a train service after False Bay line is closed due to vandalism

By Logan Marshall Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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Cape Town – The False Bay section of the Metrorail service in Cape Town will be closed for a week due to vandalism amounting to more than R1 million.

According to Metrorail spokesperson Nana Zenani, after its Protection Services had thwarted the theft of an 11-kilovolt (kV) line on Sunday, the suspects unfortunately threw the cut line onto live 3kV overhead electric wires.

This triggered an emergency on the Southern Line when two wires touched, causing damage to four mast poles.

’’Metrorail will not be able to run services on the Southern Line, specifically between Retreat and Fish Hoek,’’ Zenani said on Monday.

’’These lines have in the past remained safe from vandalism. Unfortunately, the vandalism seems to be threatening the Southern Line.

’’The damage to the mast poles and overhead electrical lines is estimated at approximately R1 million. Metrorail is prioritising the repairs on the line on order to get the service running.

’’The line closure will last approximately one week while the budget will have to come from money set aside for normal operations.

’’If communities and businesses do not assist in stopping the rampant vandalism, the Western Cape will be without a passenger rail service. Rail is the only source of mass movement and without it commuters will continue to pay higher transportation costs.

’’The illicit copper trade is thriving with impunity, with copper pricing on the market at between R80 and R90 per kilogram.

’’This is the source of problem and why criminals are targeting and vandalising our infrastructure. We need stringent interventions and controls in respect to scrap dealing and the export of copper.

’’The very relaxed regulations around the sale of copper is causing Metrorail serious harm in its ability to deliver on it's mandate to operate trains.’’

Last week, the Western Cape passenger rail service was disrupted by a telecommunications outage due to a vandalised optic-fibre cable on the Deep River line. The cut optic fibre has absolutely no copper inside, however, it keeps being vandalised.

IOL

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