The Inkatha Freedom Party in Parliament calls for severe punishment to anyone found to be guilty of stealing electricity cable after two passenger trains collided in Elandsfontein, east of Johannesburg, on Thursday morning, leaving one person dead and scores injured.
“Although we accept the explanation given by Metrorail that this accident was caused by cable theft, but there has to be a thorough investigation in order to get the facts as to whether it was cable theft, human error or a lack of maintenance. Cable theft has become a very serious problem in our country. Damage to critical public infrastructure due to the theft of electricity cables is sabotage and should be treated like crimes such as sedition and treason. I think that it is even more important to establish who was buying these cables and send that person to jail,” said Mr Petros Sithole, IFP National Spokesperson on Transport.
“We need to step up punitive measures and once people are arrested we need to make sure the law takes it course. Cable theft on our rail lines and other infrastructure is a serious crime. It deprives our commuters of safe travel on our trains and costs millions of rand to repair and replace damaged equipment. Huge sums of money is invested to provide commuters with a safe and reliable public transport service and we must never allow this to be undermined,” continued Mr Sithole.
“It is high time now for Metrorail to increase their security measures along railway lines in order to limit the theft of cables. Although the argument will be about funding but the loss of lives should be prioritised because cable theft is taking place almost every day. The lives of people using trains must be protected. Profits must never take priority over the lives of our people. Metrorail needs to protect its property and maintain its infrastructure in order to ensure safe travel on rail lines across the country. The scourge of cable theft must be eradicated without any further delays in order for people to have confidence in our rail service,” concluded Mr Sithole.
The IFP sends its deepest condolences to the family of deceased and wish a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.
Mr Petros Sithole MP
IFP National Spokesperson on Transport
072 784 1909