The Public Protector has agreed to investigate struggling Metrorail in the Western Cape, where the service has been hit with multiple problems that have seen the numbers of commuters drop by nearly half.
Frequent delays and inadequate space on commuter trains have been made worse by the recent torching of coaches at Cape Town Station. Metrorail staff members have also been attacked while on duty. Some drivers had resigned in fear of their lives.
"After having written a letter to the Public Protector on 29 August 2018, I received a response letter from Oupa Segalwe, acting executive manager at the public protector’s office, on 30 August 2018," said Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the provincial Parliament and chairperson of the standing committee on transport and public works, Nceba Hinana.
"His letter stated that the case would be investigated by the Western Cape provincial office of the public protector’s office and that it would be assigned to a Senior Investigator."
Hinana said residents can no longer count on trains to get to them to their destinations.
"Throughout December 2017, the Central Line, our most used line, was on time only 24.6%. Consequently, there has been a drastic decline in the number of Metrorail users in the Western Cape. In 2014, Metrorail had over 608 000 passengers," the DA provincial parliamentarian said.
"That number decreased so drastically that by 2017, the number of Metrorail passengers dropped by 41% to just 360 000."