Metrorail in the Western Cape says it will be spending millions of rand over the next two years to secure its infrastructure and get its vandalised coaches back on the tracks.
But regional manager Richard Walker warns that unless socio-economic problems of crime and gangsterism are dealt with, the system will continue to come under attack.
He says there’s been a significant spike in the copper theft as illegal traders continue to encourage demand.
Metrorail says crime is making it difficult to maintain its signalling system.
R1.8 billion will be spent to restore the system in the first phase which should be completed by June next year.
Regional manager Richard Walker said: “I think we can't also not run away from the fact that our infrastructure is very old, it is very sensitive at the moment particularly our signalling system.
But the rail service is having to put other projects on hold to fund the building of a concrete wall at a cost of R68 million to secure the network from Langa to Bonteheuwel and Netreg to Heideveld.
“We will immediately begin to see the improvement in terms of the on time performance and the availability of our coaches as well.”
Metrorail says it wants to return at least 70 of its damaged train sets to service within the next three to six months.