The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will join forces to beef up security measures on trains nationwide.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says he will soon be signing a memorandum of understanding with Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Briefing the media in Cape Town on Wednesday, Mbalula says this includes basic training by the agency security guards at the behest of the police.
“Within our fold, we do have the security capacity that needs to be beefed up within the context of the law. And the only people who have the law authority and overseeing people is the Minister of Police. So we will work with him and create a multiply force in the trains as we promised. That hopefully will be at the end of the year,” explains Mbalula.
TURNING AROUND PRASA – FIXING TRAINS
A decisive intervention to turn around PRASA and improve its operational performance while re-building its engineering capacity to drive the modernisation programme is in place. #FixingTransport pic.twitter.com/xfh9VxbPbx
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) July 24, 2019
Mbalula’s intervention regarding Prasa come after the Passenger rail agency said it’s investigating an incident in which an empty passenger train was hijacked and driven for a distance of 12 kilometres by two suspects on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
The unknown suspects allegedly went on a joyride on Friday from a depot in eMkhomazi to Umgababa. They then stopped the train and fled into a nearby forest, while security guards gave chase.
Prasa KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, Zama Nomnganga, voiced concern over the incident, saying they need to find out how this happened.
“This was an unauthorised ride by these community members who were so irresponsible. Anything could have happened – they could have collided with a train; they could have derailed the train, affecting our own infrastructure. This was an unauthorised ride by these hooligans. Security is there, we just need to find out how this happened and we will take measures going forward.”