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1 minute read
8 Jan 2019
9:14 pm

Nzimande blames cable theft for Pretoria train crash


The transport minister said management had to account for why money was being spent on upgrading security, yet cable theft was still on the rise.

Two trains collided at the Mountain View Station in Pretoria, 8 January 2019. The train was reportedly carrying 800 passengers. Four people have been reported to have been killed so far and more than 600 are said to be injured. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The trains were both traveling on the same line towards Pretoria from Mabopane when they collided at Mountain View Station, northeast of Pretoria.

The trains were transporting more than 800 passengers.

More than 300 commuters were left injured and transported to different hospitals around the area.

Nzimande said cable theft results in the malfunctioning of the signaling system, which forces train operations to be switched to manual authorisation which leads to miscommunication.

“Like today, clearly there must have been a miscommunication somewhere,” he said.

Nzimande said management had to account on why money was being spent on upgrading security, yet cable theft was still on the rise.

“We are spending such a lot of money and it looks like it’s business as usual…These security companies have been taking hundreds of millions of rands from our Metrorail but there isn’t a big difference that is seen.”

Nzimande said he demands answers from Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and the Railway Safety Regulator within a few days on actions which will be taken to deal with security.

He said from now on, no security company must get a tender from Prasa if they can’t demonstrate what they intend to do in combating cable theft.

“Otherwise we have turned Prasa into an ATM,” Nzimande said.

Rescue operations were completed by 5pm after a few passengers remained trapped in the train for several hours.

African News Agency (ANA)

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