JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT: MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS, DONALD GRANT, AND METRORAIL REGIONAL MANAGER RICHARD WALKER

NEW HIGH MAST LIGHTS TO MAKE EIKENFONTEIN STATION SAFER FOR COMMUTERS

This morning, Transport and Public Works Minister Donald Grant, and Metrorail Regional Manager Richard Walker, initiated the Minister Grant and Metrorail RM Richard Walker at Eikenfontein Stationhigh mast lighting at the Eikenfontein train station. The high mast lighting is part of a joint initiative launched last year, in line with our ongoing efforts to improve safety at key stations in Area North.

“We are very proud to have completed this second stage of the project that began last year with the roll-out of scrambler bikes at various stations in the metro. The partnership that exists between Metrorail and the Department of Transport and Public Works, has been a very effective one; yielding results that are well in line with this Government’s strategic objective to provide safe and reliable public transport for the Western Cape. This project is yet another example of that partnership and will, undoubtedly, continue to improve safety for commuters, and help to curb the effects that vandalism has on Metrorail’s assets,” said Minister Grant.

The project, a first of its kind, was funded by the Department of Transport and Public Works, through an allocation to the value of R4 million. The amount included:

  • The purchase of 25 scrambler bikes, to be deployed in key areas depending on priority.
  • High mast lights, to be deployed at 2 stations in Area North (Eikenfontein and Van Der Stel), to the value of R1.5 million.

Thereafter, an estimated total of R8 million in operating costs, including maintenance and personnel costs, will be absorbed by Metrorail. Electricity costs for the high mast lighting will also be borne by Metrorail.

Since the deployment of the scrambler bike squad patrols at identified stations, there have been 4 on-the-spot arrests (2 between Eerste Rivier and Lynedoch stations for cable theft, and another 2 between Bellville and Tygerberg stations for vandalising track boxes) by the bikers.

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Regional manager Richard Walker thanked Minister Grant for his department’s generous support: “Both the previous and current MEC have a vested interest in improving the safety of train users in Western Cape”. The high rate of vandalism at key stations prompted the Minister’s office to assist Metrorail by providing the necessary funding to install the much needed lighting. A provision of three lights per platform fixed onto a high mast light provides sufficient light; visibility of 100 meters in a radius of 50meters. Walker says the cost of providing security for rail precincts amounts to R12million each month: “In addition the lighting provided by the Department improves visibility and helps commuters and adjoining communities feel less vulnerable at station environs”.

Fact fileNew High Mast Lighting at Eikenfontein Station

Stations: Eikenfontein and van der Stel

Length of platform: 280 meters

Number of lights per platform: Three

Cost of installation: R1.5m

“We will continue to work together to improve security at stations to ensure the safety of the commuters, and to protect Metrorail’s very valued assets from the threats posed by criminals. There have been numerous incidents of violence and criminal activity at stations, where people have been stabbed, mugged, and intimidated, particularly when they travel at night. This is not an acceptable situation which we must continue to address through projects like this one. Criminal elements cannot be allowed to threaten the delivery of the essential service that Metrorail provides to the very many that rely on it on a daily basis,” added Minister Grant.