Prasa admits: ‘Western Cape bridges, tunnels unsafe’

Henry

Worrying safety risks have been exposed at Cape Town train stations after the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) provided answers about this in the provincial legislature.

According to a written answer to a question from the DA, Prasa said six of its 61 pedestrian bridges in the province were officially declared unsafe in 2022 due to vandalism. As much as R59 million will be needed to repair these bridges. Four underground pedestrian tunnels have also been marked as unsafe, with approximately R300 000 needed to repair them.

According to Prasa’s answer, he has already spent about R500 000 in the current financial year to repair tunnels and that the agency currently has to repair two or three tunnels per month.

“What is even more worrying is the revelation that these tunnels are only usable for four months after they are repaired, before they are damaged again,” says Derrick America, Western Cape spokesperson for mobility.

The community newspaper Tigerburger reported last week that a pedestrian tunnel between the Goodwood and Vasco stations is completely under water, also because it is being damaged by vandals. Pedestrians use this tunnel mainly to get to the Goodwood Clinic and shopping centres. Pedestrians therefore have to walk over the train tracks, putting their lives at risk because they can walk in front of trains.

America says this revelation raises serious questions about the ANC’s commitment to ensuring the safety of railway passengers. “Despite these problems, the ANC government refuses to hand over the management of railway services to competent metros.”