The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape on Wednesday said it welcomes Parliament’s Transport Portfolio Committee’s decision to issue a subpoena to the Prasa board.
"Prasa’s interim board failed to attend a meeting with the Committee yesterday, 6 February 2018, to discuss, among other things, Metrorail’s central line crisis and commuters’ general safety in the Western Cape," said Nceba Hinana, a DA member of the provincial parliament.
Hinana is the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
"We must take back our train stations from captured communities in the ‘Bermuda triangle’. Located between Langa, Belhar, Chris Hani and Khayelitsha; the Bermuda triangle refers to an area on the central line which constantly experiences delays and cancellations due to vandalism and cable theft," explained Hinana.
"Safety in the Western Cape is an issue that Prasa and Metrorail by extension cannot afford to ignore."
During the period of 2015 to 2017, 32 murders and 114 incidents of assault with grievous bodily harm were recorded on trains and railway stations.
"Residents can no longer afford to risk their lives whilst commuting. I will be writing to the National Minister of Transport to ask how much money is allocated to Prasa in the Western Cape and of that, how much is being allocated to the safety of its commuters."
Hinana said this information "will assist us" in ensuring that funds are being used to improve infrastructure, to guarantee the safety of commuters and to improve the service as a whole in the province.
"The subpoena will also ensure that Prasa provides feedback to the committee on their outstanding 2016/2017 annual report," said Hinana.
"It is vital that this information is received, as the parastatal’s inability to deliver at the national level has, for almost three years, continued to spill-over into the Western Cape. In October 2015, 80% of trains were on time with cancellations at 3%.
"By July 2017, a mere 65% of trains were on time and cancellations reached up to 15%."