The patience of commuters will again be tested to the limit with trains in Cape Town running about an hour behind schedule.
In the latest incident Tuesday afternoon, six carriages on two trains caught alight at Cape Town station. A man has been detained in connection with the latest fire.
Two weeks ago three trains were set alight at three different stations in the space of three hours in the Western Cape.
Some officials, including Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde, have warned that the rail system might collapse if urgent action is not taken to save the system.
Both the national and provincial government say these are orchestrated attacks on the public rail system.
Over R630 million have been lost over the past 3-and-a-half years as a result of train fires, more than 70% of these in the Western Cape.
PRASA says its modernisation project, including improvements in security, intelligence and surveillance will go a long way in curbing the issues faced in the ailing system but in the meantime commuters continue to bear the brunt of delays.
Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says the torching of trains is economic sabotage. In a Tweet, De Lille says more trains have now gone up in flames unnecessarily.
She says the backbone of the City’s economy is being destroyed to the detriment of thousands of commuters.
More trains unnecessarily going up in flames. This is economic sabotage. We can longer continue like this while the backbone of this City’s economy is destroyed, to the detriment of thousands of commuters pic.twitter.com/FGuqIzdx7i
— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) October 9, 2018