The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has expressed its commitment to expedite the recovery plan for the central line, a crucial rail network that traverses Nyanga, Philippi, Khayelitsha, and Mitchell Plain in Cape Town.
Currently, the central line is operating at limited capacity due to informal settlements obstructing the railway line, primarily in Philippi. To address this issue, PRASA has allocated close to R600 million for the rehabilitation of the central line, which has suffered extensive vandalism.
Collaborating closely with key stakeholders, including the Department of Human Settlements, Housing Development Agency, City of Cape Town, and the Department of Public Works, PRASA is actively working to relocate residents from informal settlements located along the railway line in Langa and Philippi. This relocation process is set to commence in the upcoming week.
Western Cape PRASA working to restore commuter services
The central line is a lifeline for approximately 40 percent of commuters, particularly serving the most vulnerable communities. PRASA’s objective is to offer a high-frequency service and rehabilitate additional rail corridors to enhance public transportation.
Hishaam Emeran, PRASA’s Group CEO, emphasized the importance of both immediate and long-term solutions for the affected areas.
“There’s a plan on the table, with the relocation of residents in Langa, referred to as phase one, set to be rolled out. Phase two focuses on inhabitants within the informal settlements in Philippi and the long-term solution is still in the finalization stages. The Department of Human Settlements, the City of Cape Town, and the Department of Public Works are fully engaged in determining the ultimate resolution,” said Emeran.
PRASA has invested more than R800 million in the Western Cape to restore passenger rail services and rehabilitate infrastructure previously subjected to vandalism.
The agency remains committed to improving transportation accessibility and connectivity in the region, particularly for those who rely on the central line for their daily commute.
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Story by: Andile Mbanjwa