The future of the Rail Enforcement Unit is uncertain as financial woes continue to hit hard on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
The unit was facilitated by the partnership between PRASA, the ministry of of Transport and Public Works and the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee for Transport; and Safety and Security.
The current Rail Enforcement Unit contract is expected to expire on 30 June 2020. According to Cape Argus the City and Prasa are expected to have a meeting today regarding the potential termination of its services.
At inception the initiative which is jointly funded by the City, the Western Cape government and Prasa was allocated R47.9 million for its establishment and operations.
Now PRASA is facing financial challenges which make the future of the unit very uncertain.
Felicity Purchase, Mayco member for transport said more resources and money would be needed to keep the unit active.
A few week ago the City of Cape Town gave PRASA the deadline of Friday 6 March to clear its water and electricity arrears of R98 million.
However the ailing entity failed to meet the deadline.
Moreover, in February train services were disrupted briefly after Eskom cut power supply to Prasa subsidiary Metrorail to recover electricity arrears of some R6.5 million.
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said it would be worth it to renew the contract with the Rail Enforcement Unit.
“But there needs to be more resources, and what could make it fundable is for the unit to collect fares on trains,” Smith said.