The suspension of Metrorail Western Cape services due to non-payment of Eskom bills on Thursday left thousands of residents from our poorest communities stranded. This is completely unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.

Our residents need a reliable transport service so that they can get to and from work, access opportunities as well as services in our city and province.

The Passenger Rail Agency SA (Prasa) has let us all down and must now do what it should have done when I raised this issue with President Cyril Ramaphosa in December last year: pay its bills.

Western Cape transport & public works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela and his department have had several positive meetings with the Prasa administrator in recent weeks, and will be communicating with them to ascertain how the situation is handled in future.

Madikizela is committed to doing everything possible to fixing this difficult situation and will work with Prasa in doing so.

I again urge the national government to consider us as partners in fixing this problem, but this will require devolving powers to us to do so We get things done and we pay our bills. Let us help deliver a reliable service to the commuters of the Western Cape. They deserve nothing less.

Alan Winde
Western Cape premier

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