PRASA plans 2024
Is the rail agency back on track? Here are PRASA’s bold plans for 2024. Picture: File.

Home » Back on TRACK? PRASA’s bold plans for 2024

Back on TRACK? PRASA’s bold plans for 2024

After a tough start, PRASA’s bold plans for 2024 include the reopening of several major lines. But can the government entity pull it off?

29-12-23 10:30
PRASA plans 2024
Is the rail agency back on track? Here are PRASA’s bold plans for 2024. Picture: File.

As part of PRASA’s bold plans for 2024, it’s in the process of relocating more than 2 600 households from Bhekela on the Cape Town Central line. According to EWN, once this is successfully done, it hopes to have Cape Town Central line operation restored by February 2024.

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Delivering on PRASA’s bold plans for 2024 will be no mean achievement, considering the uphill battle it has face in reinstating the long-distance Shosholoza Meyl trains, amongst others. However, even executives within PRASA are unhappy with how the return to service has gone for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.


PRASA's Shosholoza Meyl
Passenger recounts his 46-hour ‘nightmare’ on PRASA’s Shosholoza Meyl. Picture: PRASA on Facebook.

Alluded to in a Daily Maverick report, an unnamed PRASA executive says the trains will continue to experience delays, won’t reach their destinations, or worse still, unless there is a major change in policy and a new train network constructed.

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Following massive delays due to unsafe and inoperative tracks and journeys having to be cut short due to cable theft, who is to blame? Those within PRASA have said the issues line with Transnet. They also suggest that goods trains receive preferential treatment ahead of passenger trains, and this cannot continue.


PRASA’s bold plans for 2024
President Cyril Ramaphosa rides PRASA’s new trains in Cape Town back in 2019 – Photo: Flickr / GCIS

Nevertheless, the rail agency appears to be talking a big game ahead of 2024. For example, the Cape Town Central line that runs from the CBD to Langa, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Belhar has not been operating since November 2019.

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Occupants moved in and built homes on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic and are in the process of being relocated. PRASA is assisting by delivering residents water for cooking and sanitation. And the City of Cape Town supplied 30 container toilets for the displaced residents.

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Similarly, further media reports suggest after four years of no activity, the Stellenbosch train service will return by February 2024. This was the word of Zinobulali Mihi, spokesperson for Metrorail and PRASA, who confirmed earlier in December that work was taking place on the lines at Stellenbosch and Du Toit stations. An estimated 60 000 commuters used the Stellenbosch line each month before COVID-19 lockdown saw widespread vandalism on the line.

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