Vandalism to Gauteng’s rail infrastructure amounts to R173 million

SABC NEWS MANDELA BRIDGE R - Vandalism to Gauteng’s rail infrastructure amounts to R173 million

Vandalism to Gauteng’s rail infrastructure has amounted to R173 million. The Transport Authority for Gauteng says it is concerned about the damage to the rail infrastructure in the province.

This is because the Authority is increasingly shifting its focus from road to rail for the movement of both passengers and goods.

CEO of the Transport Authority for Gauteng, Jack van der Merwe was making a virtual presentation at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s committee on Roads and Transport.

“We have to have rail as the backbone of public transport and the whole issue of Metrorail where the whole infrastructure has been decimated through vandalism and through theft is a major problem. The advantage of rail operating on its own dedicated rail and a large number of commuters that it can transport made it the obvious choice as the backbone for the integrated public transport system.”

On Wednesday, the ANC’s uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) President Kebby Maphatsoe said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula must take responsibility for vandalism that has crippled the country’s railway service.

MKMVA President Kebby Maphatsoe explains the aim of the march against Mbalula: 

He was referring to the minister’s decision to suspend private security contracts during the hard lockdown.

Passenger rail trains are unable to operate because of the widespread vandalism across the network.

Mbalula claimed that Maphatsoe had personally benefited from what he termed dodgy security contracts.

Maphatsoe challenged Mbalula to go to the police if he has any proof.

On Monday, Mbalula tweeted that Maphatsoe and MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus were thugs and also accused Niehaus of faking the death of his own mother.

“They organise tired self-defence units and they call themselves MK with old Gupta-sponsored camouflage uniform even worn out,” read one of tweets from Mbalula.

FULL: STATEMENT BY MINISTER @MBALULAFIKILE on CAMPAIGN BY PEOPLE WHO ALLEGE THEMSELVES AS MK VETERANS pic.twitter.com/EfDnw7XCod

— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) October 12, 2020

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