- PRASA has resumed limited operations in parts of the country
- Despite this resumption, the United National Transport Union said PRASA is not ready to run rail services
- Operations have resumed in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape
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The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) resumed limited train services in some parts of the country on Wednesday.
However, the United National Transport Union says PRASA is not ready to run rail services.
In a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, trains have been parked since the beginning of the national lockdown.
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Sonja Casterns, the United National Transport Union's spokesperson said:
"PRASA is currently running at 15% of its normal capacity, only 15%. Now you have a train waiting at an intersection, waiting for manual authorisation and that is where the problem starts."
SowetanLIVE reported that despite this 15% operational capacity, the return was off to a bumpy start. The very first train to operate in Gauteng during the national lockdown was delayed after overhead cables were vandalised.
The train, which was scheduled to depart from Pienaarspoort in Mamelodi at 5:10am, headed to Pretoria station had to wait for technicians to clear the line which were left hanging by the thieves on eve of the reopening of the services.
PRASA administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo said the train was delayed by 45 to 50 minutes as the technicians worked hard to clear any possible danger.
"We really have to continue improving security. It is an issue that we are going to have to keep on working on."
Trains resumed in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. In Gauteng, PRASA was forced to use diesel powered locomotives as the rail line had been severely vandalised over the three months that the trains were not operating.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula inspected several trains. The minister said a true test of whether the trains are properly equipped to run will once they begin operations, said eNCA.
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