Hundred Rail Enforcement Unit officers have been deployed to protect rail commuters and infrastructure.
The joint operation between the City of Cape Town, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and the provincial government will assist the existing security services with the challenges the Metrorail service is currently facing.
Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, said; ”Passenger rail is the most efficient and affordable form of public transport. Here in Cape Town, hundreds of thousands of low-income residents rely on the trains to get to work and school. It is our duty and responsibility to ensure commuters’ safety; and secondly, we must do all we can to protect and stabilise the service.”
The officers were recruited by the City and have undergone extensive training the past few months.
Donald Grant, the MEC for Transport and Public Works, said, “‘Improving security in the rail network and strengthening Metrorail’s ability to provide a safe and reliable service is an urgent priority that demands the co-operation of all state actors. The future economic success of this region depends heavily on a stable and sustainable rail network.”
Metrorail Western Cape manager, Richard Walker, expressed gratitude over the support they’ve received.
“We thank Mr Grant and Mr Herron for their support and commitment to this initiative. The unit will act as force multiplier and reinforces our call for all law enforcement agencies to fight crime in the rail system together. We now have our own Protection Services, the Rapid Rail Response Unit and the Rail Enforcement Unit working in co-ordination with the South African Police Services’ Provincial Joint Operations Command Centre,” said Mr Walker.