City of Cape Town gives Prasa until Friday to pay debt 6 March 2020, 9:15 AM | SABC Digital News | @SABCNewsOnline

Only Prasa’s offices and facilities will be cut off and the running of the trains will not be affected.

The City of Cape Town has given the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) until Friday to pay its debt or face the disconnection of services on Monday.

The City’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, Ian Neilson, says Prasa has repeatedly failed to pay municipal rates and services debts totalling approximately R114 million, of which R98 million is the arrears amount.

He says the disconnection of services will not affect commuters. Only Prasa’s offices and facilities will be cut off and the running of the trains will not be affected.

Neilson says this decision has not been taken lightly and it has come after many years of engagement with the rail agency.

Rollout plans at Langa Station

Meanwhile, Prasa says train services on the central line in Cape Town are expected to be fully operational by May next year. Interim Administrator at Prasa, Bongisizwe Mpondo says services will be introduced in two stages at a cost of about R1.4 billion.

Mpondo and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula outlined the rollout plans at Langa Station. Services on the Central line were suspended in November last year due to vandalism and arson.

About R 170 million has been spent so far on repairing infrastructure.

Mpondo says buses will be introduced as an interim measure to assist commuters on the central line.

“We are looking at limited service, where we will have about ten train sets in service, next year from April to May we’re looking at recovering a full service, that will about 33 train sets. Between now and then we are looking at an option of a road-based solution where we will have about 80 buses, 70 seater buses that will transport passengers from station to station not encroaching on operating licensed routes.”