Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says he hopes the insourcing of over 3,000 security officers to guard the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa) infrastructure will be a turning point to getting the railway agency back on track.

Prasa loses millions of rand due to cable theft and vandalism.

In many instances, this results in trains being out of service or fatal crashes.

On Wednesday Mbalula launched the government’s ministerial security plan to curb the theft and destruction of railway infrastructure.

When copper cable thieves strip railway stations, the metal is melted in laboratories and shipped overseas to a specific market where the copper is high in demand.

The transport minister said in many instances, these syndicates work with Prasa employees.

“The criminals and the syndicates are not working alone. I am not thumb sucking. We find that on a daily basis in terms of the operations throughout the country.”

Thousands of commuters are also impacted by cable theft and vandalism as it makes the trains unreliable and late.

Mbalula said he hopes this plan will help the rail agency to provide a better service to its customers.

-EWN

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