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When will Minister Nzimande take action to protect Cape Town’s trains?<p>I have just been alerted that yet another train carriage was set alight at the Cape Town station at around 12:30 this afternoon, 9 October 2018.</p> <p>Thus far my calls on Mr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Transport, to declare a state of emergency concerning the sabotage and attacks on our passenger rail system have fallen on deaf ears. One must ask whether the Minister is waiting for a complete collapse of our urban rail service before he will take action.</p><p>Once again, Cape Town’s commuters will be severely affected by delays and disruptions to the service, and some may have to spend money on alternative modes of transport to get home after work. </p><p>Our urban rail system is operating at a fraction of the capacity it needs to service the demand. Over the past three years we have lost more than 140 carriages to fire.</p><p>The City and the Western Cape Government are assisting the Passenger Rail Agency (PRASA) to stabilise the Cape Town service by jointly funding a dedicated Rail Enforcement Unit with PRASA. The unit will be operational later this month. This is a unique and unprecedented intervention by two spheres of government which have no direct role or control over the rail function. We took these steps and set aside much-needed funds intended for other priorities because rail commuters are our residents.</p><p>We need Minister Nzimande to act now. We need him to take extraordinary measures.</p><p>I call on him again to consider the powers he has to bring an emergency response. Urgent action is clearly required. Emergency funds and fast-tracking procurement for critical services is what is needed. It is the appropriate response to the scale and urgency of the crisis we are currently facing.</p><p>I call on the South African Police Service to investigate this incident as a matter of urgency. Our commuter rail system is under relentless attack. I would not be surprised if this afternoon’s incident is part of the well-orchestrated programme of sabotage we have seen in Cape Town over the past few years.</p><p><b>End</b></p>2018-10-08T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#ffcdd6df-7b0a-46df-baa0-cc9fb98b29b6;L0|#0ffcdd6df-7b0a-46df-baa0-cc9fb98b29b6|Transport and Urban Development Authority;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#386e6d11-1c73-4d63-9956-3cc3eab4415f;L0|#0386e6d11-1c73-4d63-9956-3cc3eab4415f|public transport;GP0|#8813fd5b-1014-449e-9282-39e8383e4e6a;L0|#08813fd5b-1014-449e-9282-39e8383e4e6a|mayoral committee1

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