- The Passenger Railway Association of South Africa has begun its training programme for military veterans
- This programme will train veterans to be security guards at Prasa railway stations, hopefully curbing the recent spate of vandalism
- One of the most vandalised routes is the Central Line in Cape Town, which Prasa is working overnight to fix
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CAPE TOWN - The Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa) has started acting on its plans to improve its railways and address issues at train stations, such as vandalism.
One of the new measures Prasa has taken is to train SANDF veterans to guard train stations. When they are trained, they will work to prevent different types of crime from occurring at Prasa stations.
Irene Mpolweni, the director-general of the programme, said that most of the veterans enrolled for training left the army during apartheid to display their opposition to the regime. As a result, many of them have struggled to find employment and will benefit from this initiative, News24 reports.
Prasa repairs Central Line in Cape Town
Yesterday (27 January), Prasa officials rode on the central line in Cape Town to inspect the line and the train stations along the way, according to EWN. They found that the Phillipi station had been severely vandalised as parts of the building had been stolen and destroyed.
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Some people have built their shacks at the station right up to the tracks in both Phillipi and Langa. Prasa has started work on addressing these challenges and many others along the central line by working overnight.
Prasa hopes that the military veteran programme graduates will ensure that train stations do not fall into the same situations in the future. This will enable the association to expand its current railway network to reach more destinations.
South Africans respond to Prasa's developments
"Nobody should be erecting anything on a railway line."
"True veterans should be retired or close to retirement. Who are we referring to here?"
'The youth is unemployed but we train 70 and 80-year-olds."
"Unbelievable! We once had railway police specifically posted to ensure the safety of passengers. The ANC in their infinite wisdom got rid of that division. Now they want to appoint VETERANS...give me a break!"
"Veterans? Young and capable guards are sitting at home."
Fikile Mbalula addresses Prasa issues, commits to spending R7 bn on upgrades
In other news about Prasa, Briefly News previously reported that on 17 January, Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Transport, went to Bellville to inspect the Cape Town Northern Line and the Western Cape Rail Management and Traffic Control Centre. While there, he boarded one of the new blue Prasa trains.
"This train will be rolled out nationally and this will improve our services. We will be spending around R7 billion to improve the services overhauled," Mbalula said.
The State of Disaster, implemented by the South African government as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, forced Prasa to suspend rail travel until further notice. Now that restrictions have been eased, Mbalulu hopes rail travel can reach its previous revenue level.
Source: Briefly News