How Metrorail has itself to blame for WC security trainwreck (GroundUp uncovers)

It appears that Metrorail management cannot wash its hands of responsibility over the poor state of the railway service in Cape Town.

Failures in the network's security system has led to vandalism, cable theft, train delays and unsafe conditions for train commuters across the Mother City.

Read: Metrorail disruptions costs Cape businesses millions

A damning letter from Prasa regional security manager Ernest Hendricks, written to the Prasa executive, was leaked to news platform GroundUp.

The letter details the alleged gross mismanagement in Prasa which has led to a complete breakdown in Western Cape train system.

GroundUp editor Nathan Geffen says Metrorail management has not taken responsibility for their role in the failing transport network.

It's a litany of woes that shows how, through corruption and incompetence, Metrorail security systems have failed.

Nathan Geffen, editor of GroundUp

In Cape Town, Metrorail is the weakest link in the public transport system.

Nathan Geffen, editor of GroundUp

Metrorail try and deflect the responsibility for an inadequate service to faceless, nameless thieves.

Nathan Geffen, editor of GroundUp

There's a whole range of ways in which Metrorail staff are being let down by their management.

Nathan Geffen, editor of GroundUp

The letter lists the following among the unresolved problems facing Metrorial:

  • Prasa missed several deadlines and extensions to implement security recommendations identified in two performance audits
  • The railway police did not physically patrol the carriages or prioritise rime prevention
  • Key areas of the rail network are not fenced, and or guarded to deter criminal elements
  • Supervisors come late for work, fail to address staff reports or attend meetings and leave the workplace when they please
  • There is low morale among staff and high absenteeism
  • The inability to register military veterans to Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority over criminal records that have not yet been expunged
  • Not all security staff have protectivegear or firearms and there are no radios

In the letter, dated 31 May, Hendricks proposes several solutions to deal with the unresolved security issues.

However, several months later, not much has changed.

Meanwhile, the name of Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana has apparently been linked to the mismanagement at Metrorail on several occasions, Geffen adds.

For more on this story, visit the GroundUp website.

Prasa officials declined to come on-air to comment and told the station that they would investigate the allegations.

Take a listen to the GroundUp expose and Metrorail commuters share their frustrations:


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