CAPE TOWN - IT'S TIME TO COMBAT CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES ONCE & FOR ALL ON OUR RAILWAY LINES
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) chaired a meeting of key stakeholders consisting of high level representatives from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Cosatu, Fedusa, the United National Transport Union (UNTU), the South Africa Transport Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the Western Cape to resolve the extreme challenges we are faced with combatting criminal activities on the railway lines.
Mr Cromet Molepo, Acting Group Chief Executive of PRASA, invited the stakeholders to the meeting on 17 January 2018 so that the parties can join hands to address the ongoing onslaught on the rail infrastructure that is affecting workers, commuters, communities, employees and the economy greatly.
The services on the Central line, the busiest railway line in the Western Cape, were suspended on Tuesday 9 January 2018 after yet another killing.
UNTU members refused to be deployed on the Central Line until such time that PRASA implements drastic measures to ensure the safety of their members against ongoing criminal activities.
The parties reached a collective agreement about the Central Line on Monday night, which in the main will deal with both the operational and security matters. However, all parties agreed that there is still a long way to solve the socio-economic challenges the railway system is confronted with.
Whilst PRASA is committed to continuing to modernise its ageing infrastructure, its efforts have been hampered by rampant crime and destruction of rail assets.
The stakeholders have made a passionate appeal on Government come to the party and provide the necessary intelligence and resources to enable the passenger rail system to implement preventative measure to fight crime.
PRASA has committed itself to ensure local economic development initiatives are established as a result of the rate of urbanisation and the growing human settlements along the railway corridors.
Speaking at the joint meeting, Acting Group CEO, Mr Cromet Molepo said, " The stakeholders call upon communities to be our eyes and ears and report crime and isolate these criminal elements within our communities. If there is no market for the stolen goods, there will be no need for crime. Those individuals who are brave enough to stand up and make a difference will be protected" .
Mr Molepo further emphasised that this challenge can only be resolved if there is the intergovernmental collaboration between all three spheres of Government.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was lastly resolved that a joint Project Steering Committee, to be jointly chaired by Major General Motlala-SAPS and Mr Molepo, (supported by various the Task Teams), will be established to monitor progress in resolving this challenge monthly.
As an ongoing commitment to ensure continuous communication with the public and the commuter on passenger rail matters, the following hotline numbers have been made available:
Metrorail Protection Services: (021) 449 4336/5056
Rapid Rail Police Units:
Cape Town - (021) 443 4325
Bellville - (021) 941 6800
Philippi-Stock Road - (021) 370 1011
Rapid Rail Police Retreat - (021) 710 5129
Radio Control/Ops Room - (021) 449 4309/10
SAPS Crime Stop - 08600 10111
Crime Line - SMS 32211