Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Feb 2010

DEVELOPMENT: Work On Railway Safety


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Instead of trying to apportion blame for the critical issue of railway safety in Cape Town and the Province, role players have agreed to unite and work towards finding sustainable solutions together. 

Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development, Elizabeth Thompson, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater,  Riana Scott, Marketing and Communications Manager, Louis Beukes, Infrastructure Manager and Natalie Taft, Business Risk Manager for Metrorail Western Cape, Robin Carlisle, the MEC for Transport, as well as Hannes Loubser of the Railway Safety Regulator, met in the Civic Centre to discuss how the issue of railway safety can be dealt with.

The meeting was called by Pascoe in the light of the many accidents that happen on railways in the province each year and linked to that, the lack of adequate fencing of railway lines. Besides inadequate fencing, various other issues surrounding railway safety also surfaced during these discussions and the role players will also work together to solve these.

Currently, only 30% to 40% of railway lines in the metropole are adequately fenced, mostly because of vandalism to newly erected fences.

Metrorail currently has a budget of R2,4 million to repair fences in 26 critical areas throughout the province, but this is a long way from the R40 million we require to replace all fences. We cannot keep asking for money to replace vandalised fences. In some instances, newly erected fences get stolen even when the concrete is still wet. It will be a long, hard path to change the behaviour of rail commuters and residents in this regard,” Scott said.

Ultimately Metrorail is responsible for fencing off their railway lines. But the City and Provincial Government have agreed to work together to determine areas of common interest where we could jointly fund fences. We've also agreed to strengthen the Rail Working Group, the coordinating committee between Metrorail, the City and Province, to give it real teeth so that it can act far more quickly than it has been able to until now,” said Pascoe.

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