Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Blade Nzimande has finally come to the realisation that “launching” two model trains will not solve the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa’s) problems, and that yet another in a long line of “turnaround” strategies has failed.

The Western Cape needs at least 88 train sets to run properly, but by October 2018 there were only 36 sets. These are not simply statistics — they translate into a real and lasting impact on commuters. Delayed and cancelled trains can cost passengers their jobs and prevent them from attending school.

Security on the trains, on platforms and outside the stations is almost nonexistent. At least 32 people have been murdered in and around trains, yet there have been no working CCTV cameras since 2015. This is why nearly 250,000 people who used the trains previously no longer do so in the Western Cape. The resultant shift to roads has exacerbated traffic congestion for commuters.

We are fighting to have the management and control of rail operations in the hands of the province instead of the national government, starting with metro-level control. The DA-run City of Cape Town has announced it is developing the high-level business plans needed to take over the running of the city’s trains, as stated in the national rail policy white paper.

We are fighting for the devolution rail so the Western Cape can enjoy a safe train service that works and runs on time because our residents deserve better than what the ANC-run Prasa can offer.

Alan Winde
DA Western Cape premier candidate