The Western Cape government has announced that they will be adding 300 security guards to the 1800-strong team already in existence. Speaking at a joint press conference with Metrorail Western Cape regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz and Robin Carlisle, MEC for transport said that the guards had been trained for three months and were now doing on-the-job “learnerships”.
After nine months they will graduate as fully accredited security guards who will be employed to safe-guard Metrorail trains, tracks, stations and yards.
Swartz also said that they had received a R4 million grant from the province and that was used to buy 40 scramblers (all-terrain motorbikes). The bikes will be used to patrol next to railway lines to bridle cable theft and vandalism. Swartz added that the number of reported assault incidents had decreased since 2010 (128 incidents) compared to 40 incidents last year. But Carlisle stated that many of the incidents go unreported.
Swartz added that Metrorail’s revenue had suffered in the past because of passengers taking free rides. They made R690 million in revenue but suffered a shortfall of R510 million due to the expenses amounting to R2.1 million. R160 million more was collected however, than in 2011, after stopping the free rides.