01 July 2020
MEC NTULI INSPECTS PRASA TRAINS IN DURBAN AHEAD OF RESUMPTION OF COMMUTER OPERATIONS
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli today, 01 July 2020, inspected the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa‘s (PRASA) state of readiness ahead of the gradual resumption of commuter operations in eThekwini.
MEC Ntuli, who was accompanied by eThekwini Metro Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and PRASA Regional Manager Dumisani Dube, inspected the Durban Station train terminal and also observed the adherence to guidelines promulgated under Alert Level 3 of the Covid-19 national lockdown on-board a PRASA train from Durban Station to Dalbridge Station.
Train operations were suspended in March this year following the Covid-19 national lockdown.
MEC Ntuli observed the social distancing measures in place at the train terminals and inside the train, sanitization of the facilities and the use of Personal Protective Equipment by officials. PRASA has deployed about 300 marshals to ensure compliance to the Covid-19 regulations.
“I have had engagements with PRASA and preparations to resume operations have been well underway in line with the Covid-19 guidelines. I am satisfied with PRASA’s state of readiness. We need to adhere to the new norms of social distancing and sanitizing in our public transport facilities. However, we are concerned about the cable theft and vandalism that has taken place at the train stations which has had a negative impact on PRASA’s operations and has caused delays in the resumption of services. Each coach will be operating at 30% capacity in order to comply with the Covid-19 regulations,” said MEC Ntuli.
MEC Ntuli said although he is confident that PRASA would be able to address any challenges identified during the gradual resumption of limited services, he is mindful of the amount of work that lies ahead before services are fully rolled-out.
“We would like to thank our commuters for their understanding during this difficult period and appeal for their full cooperation as PRASA prepares to gradually resume operations,” added MEC Ntuli.
PRASA is preparing to open the uMlazi to KwaMashu line, which is about 21 stations out of 102 stations, as part of the staggered approach and gradual resumption of services in eThekwini.