Acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), David Mphelo has noted that costs for work done on the Central Line in Cape Town are exceeding initial estimates by almost 100%.

The start of the project was originally hindered by 8000 people who have made homes for themselves in and around the central line. However, all that was resolved before the project took effect.

The repairs which is one of the biggest in Cape Town were delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown and the encroachment of land occupiers on rail infrastructure. 

Over the years, Cape Town’s railway lines have been riddled with cable theft and infrastructure problems, particularly the central line. So the idea to repair the rail is something that is very important to the city.

Originally, R1.4-billion was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address in 2020 to allocated the amount to Prasa for the fixing of the Central Line. The aim was to allow for a “safe, reliable and affordable service” in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, the increament comes at a time when the agency wants to speed up efforts to get the line fully operational. Mphelo attributed the rising costs to encroachment on the line and the Covid-19 hard lockdown.

According to the agency, During the hard lockdown in 2020, vandalism and theft increased as train operations came to a halt, leaving Prasa infrastructure exposed to criminals.


SOURCE: Daily Maverick

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