Train service in Mamelodi corridor to resume soon after violence forced its suspension
The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) has reinstated the train service in the Mamelodi corridor‚ more than a month after the service was suspended as a result of violence in which a female train driver was assaulted‚ stripped naked and dragged into a bush.
On March 13‚ 10 employees were attacked and R6m worth of damage was caused when six new trains were vandalised and the Eerste Fabrieke station was damaged extensively.
The following day Prasa decided to indefinitely suspend train services in the Mamelodi corridor‚ leaving thousands of commuters without transport to get to school‚ work and other destinations.
The passenger rail agency said the decision to suspend the service had been taken to protect employees‚ assets and commuters from harm.
The agency’s acting CEO‚ Lindikhaya Zide‚ said Prasa was confident it would be able to reintroduce the train service from next Saturday.
"We hope that the commuting public and communities will work closely with us to protect these valuable assets‚" he said.
Zide said the assaults of staff‚ vandalism and theft of railway infrastructure had negatively affected the reliable train service that they had striven to achieve for their commuters.
He urged commuters to take full ownership of the rail assets.
"We further strongly encourage them to report all forms of crime they witness taking place against passenger rail assets and people to the police or security officials at stations, so that perpetrators can be immediately arrested‚" he said.
The reinstatement of the service comes after extensive engagement between the rail agency and various organisations‚ including rail commuter organisations‚ political parties‚ student groups and community policing forums.