Sanco slams ‘deliberate’ arson attacks on metro train services

Eleven carriages were destroyed in the fire. Image: ANA

Police have yet to get to the bottom of arson that caused damage in excess of R25 million.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) says sinister forces are behind the “deliberate acts of sabotage” to halt commuter train services at all costs irrespective of the inconvenience to communities and business.

Sanco expressed concern at Saturday afternoon’s fire at Cape Town Station in the CBD which destroyed 11 carriages and damaged station infrastructure.

City of Cape Town metro fire chief Theo Layne said on Saturday that four fire engines and two water tankers attended the scene. No injuries had been reported and the cause of the fire had not yet been established, Layne said.

”We are inclined to believe that these are deliberate acts of sabotage that are relentlessly pursued by sinister forces determined to halt train services at all costs irrespective of the inconvenience that this will have on business and commuters,” Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.

Police crime intelligence and other law enforcement agencies had failed to get to the bottom of the arson that had caused damage in excess of R25 million.

“A month hardly goes by without disruption of services. Appeals for Metrorail to review its security measures as well as to be more accountable to rail users and more responsive to their needs seem to have fallen on death ears,” he said.

Such acts of arson undermined the provision of reliable and predictable train services, which was important for commuters to arrive at their destinations on time. “The poor who cannot afford alternative public transport are always the hardest hit by the inconvenience they have to suffer,” Mahlangu said.

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