Residents of Paarl set the Mbekweni Train Station alight on Thursday evening causing extensive damage that has affected the schedule and train services offered by Metrorail. It is reported that burning tyres were also placed on the railway tracks.
Regional Manager at Metrorail Richard Walker says that the protest demonstrations were regarding the provision of electricity in the area.
Last night we became a victim, again, to some of these incidents spilling over to our environment. I went out there late last night. The entire ticket office building was destroyed in the fire. The situation was very tense and volatile to the extent that the fire services could not attend to the scene at all.
#ServiceAdvisory :Arson by protestors not related to Metrorail service delivery. "Inexcusable 2 destroy rail assets-sheer criminal thuggery"— Metrorail W/Cape (@CapeTownTrains) April 24, 2015
Metrorail's alternative transport arrangement
Metrorail services in Paarl, Worcester and Wellington have been disrupted this morning. Walker says that alternative transport arrangements have been put in place. Trains operating between Cape Town and Wellington will terminate at Huguenot Station in the Paarl area. A bus service will then transport commuters between Huguenot and Wellington Stations.
Walker says that they will asses the situation and when they will be able to operate on the damaged lines again. He says where commuters can, they are advised to make use of alternative transport.
Listen to the full conversation on Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: