Defend Truth

GROUNDUP

Still off track — Many Metrorail lines in Cape Town remain closed for commuters

Still off track — Many Metrorail lines in Cape Town remain closed for commuters
A Metrorail train is seen at Khayelitsha station, on 25 June 2019. (Photo: Sune Payne)

Although some lines have reopened thousands of commuters still have no train service.

Metrorail services in and around Cape Town have yet to fully recover from theft and vandalism that happened during the Covid lockdown period when trains stopped running.

Already long before the pandemic, the service was crumbling. GroundUp had been documenting Metrorail’s steady demise since 2013.

Cape Metrorail map

Cape Metrorail map. Red stations are closed. Green stations are open. (Graphic: Supplied by GroundUp)

The Central Line, which was the busiest and served commuters from the poorest areas on the Cape Flats, closed for three years, from October 2019 to March this year. Now partially reopened, 14 stations remain without any train services, including Chris Hani, Khayelitsha, Philippi, Heideveld, Bonteheuwel, Mitchells Plain and Lentegeur. Trains run from Nyanga but are not stopping at all stations due to “extensive damage”, according to Metrorail spokesperson Zinobulali Mihi. Skipped stations include Bonteheuwel, Heideveld, and Netreg.

Mihi said that Bonteheuwel and Heideveld stations “are still under construction”. The Netreg station has not been refurbished because “the structure of the building has been compromised”. The stations will be restored as part of the Central Line recovery project currently underway.

Another one of Cape Town’s busy lines, the Northern Line, partially resumed services again in March 2022. In January this year, the line between Eerste River and Bellville resumed.

The Southern Line partially reopened in July 2020, running from Cape Town to Retreat. It was reopened fully in January 2022.

Other parts of Cape Metrorail still closed include the lines running from Strand, from Stellenbosch, and from Worcester to Wellington.

There is a train running from Malmesbury to Cape Town via the Monte Vista line.

Mihi said that contracts for Strand and the Muldersvlei (Stellenbosch) line were awarded this month “to recover the electrification network” and that work is underway.

On Tuesday Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts will conduct an inspection of the Central Line. DM

First published by GroundUp.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    The Mayor should nationalise the lines that the incompetents are unable to get running again. A symbolic gesture might be enough to light a fire under their places where the son don’t shine.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.