Prasa's Central Line Reopening Hits a Snag, Leaves Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Stuck on a Train

Prasa's Central Line Reopening Hits a Snag, Leaves Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Stuck on a Train

  • Cape Town's Central Line was reopened by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula after being closed for three years
  • Mbalula boarded a few trains to mark the reopening, but there were a few technical challenges while on board
  • South Africans are wondering why there was no leadership to prevent the closure of the Central Line in the first place

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CAPE TOWN - Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, found himself in a little predicament at the reopening of Cape Town's Central line on Tuesday, 26 July. The Central Line was partially reopened after it was closed down in 2019 due to extreme vandalism and theft.

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula travelling on a Prasa train
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula expressed disappointment after he was stuck on a train at the Central Line reopening on Tuesday. Images: @FikileMbalula
Source: Getty Images

Mbalula, alongside Daylin Mitchell, the Western Cape MEC for mobility, Malusi Booi, the MMC for human settlement and Prasa employees boarded the 9am train from the Cape Town train station to Langa to mark the reopening of the line.

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They were met with many challenges, from the first train being delayed to the train from Langa to Bellivile being stuck due to technical glitches, according to TimesLIVE. The technicians stated that the train being stuck was caused by power outages.

Mbalula expressed a little disappointment in what happened on the trains and stated that the Prasa team is not where he wants them to be. He also thanked them for ensuring that the Central Line was partially back on track but argued that there are people who are sleeping on the job.

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"I know that among them there are people who are sleeping on the job, but there are [also] very exciting individuals who have passion and knowledge," said Mbalula.

Mbalula also issued a warning to Prasa management and asked that they ensure that services run smoothly and trains are on time.

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According to News24, the repairs on the Central Line amounted to roughly R2 billion. The reopening of the Central Line was facilitated by Prasa in collaboration with the Housing Development Agency, Department of Public Works, the City of Cape Town and other stakeholders.

They worked to remove the people who had illegally built homes along the Central Line in Langa and Eerste River.

Here's what South Africans have to say about the reopening of the Central Line:

@JustinKennerley said:

"Where was the leadership to prevent the trains from running in the first place?"

@cheez_uncle said:

"Government should just hire people who know what they do....not these bunch of politicians."

@NivestoDj said:

"He will pretend as of nothing happened and go back to his car."


"The jokes write themselves in this country. #DameEdna again stuck on a train. Why do the #anc insist on running things in a #DAGoverned Province? They just make themselves look extra incompetent."

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Prasa launches 100 locally produced trains, Fikile Mbalula says it’s a leap toward affordable public transport

Briefly News previously reported that 100 locally produced trains were launched by the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on Monday, 4 July. The Department of Transport launched the trains under the theme of Prasa’s modernisation programme.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the 100th train is a giant leap towards an affordable integrated public transport network.

EWN reported that the trains have a capacity to carry 1,200 passengers and travel at a speed of 120km/h. They were produced at the Gibela factory in the Ekurhuleni metropolitan area in Gauteng.

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Source: Briefly News

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