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Metrorail: Delayed maintenance chokes opportunity

By Lennit Max MPP
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Train lines between Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek are closed due to being covered by a bed of sand, since July of 2015. Metrorail in the Western Cape have indicated that they will only have the line re-opened by mid-January 2016.

I will write to the Western Cape Regional Manager of Metrorail, Richard Walker, to request that Metrorail rectify the issue sooner.

The line has already been out of service for almost three months, an additional waiting period of over 4 months in unacceptable. This will mean that the train line will be out of action for a large part of the peak tourist season in the Cape. As such, business and tourist destinations in the region will be choked by the unavailability of the Metrorail service. The Atlantic Rail steam train, a vintage coach from Simon’s Town to Cape Town, must now use an alternative route, which is impacting local business negatively.

Commuters employed at the Simon’s Town Naval Base as well as those travelling in the direction of Cape Town, on a daily basis, are experiencing massive delays due to the unavailability of the train service. This is an indication of the strain that inefficient management at Metrorail is placing on access to opportunities.

The problem is resultant of chronic failure on the part of Metrorail to maintain the tracks and barriers as they are meant to. I will also request a detailed timeline for each phase of the removal of the sand and the rebuilding of collapsed seawall which led to the sand bank in the first place.

Transport systems are the arteries that allow for the flow of economic interaction and can under no circumstances be cut off. Business opportunities and the jobs they offer cannot be choked by the lacklustre and inept Metrorail management, which is so typical to parastatals in South Africa.