CAPE TOWN: The City of Cape Town (CoCT) is offering a R5 000 reward for information on train vandals that damaged a new train on its first day of operation, costing an estimated R20 000 in repairs.
“The City is offering a R5 000 reward for information that leads to the positive identification and arrest of those responsible for the stoning of a brand new train set,” Cape Town’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The incident occurred on January 4 at Steenberg station as the train was making its way to Fish Hoek station, and the vandals are believed to have been a group of youths.
Mayor Hill-Lewis alludes to the youths stoning the new train for purely entertainment value.
“Damage to critical infrastructure is completely unacceptable, even if it is perpetrated by youths who think that stoning trains is ‘fun’,” he said.
The R20 000 estimated repair cost is for a damaged window, the mayor said after receiving confirmation from Metrorail.
After the incident, acting Metrorail spokesperson Nana Zenani urged Capetonians to take ownership of the public transport system and be vigilant, since taxpayers will need to fund the repairs.
“These are taxpayers’ monies, Metrorail Western Cape is only managing the asset, it does not own it,” Zenani said.
Mayor Hill-Lewis points out that Capetonians end up spending more on other forms of transport if the trains are suspended, as well as an increase in commuting time.
News24 reported in January how Metrorail’s service was suspended between Retreat and Fish Hoek in October 2021 due to vandalism, with the resulting damage valued at R1 million.
All 29 stations from Cape Town to Simon’s Town are currently operational.
Capetonians are able to call the Public Emergency Call Centre (107 from a landline and 021 480 7700 from a cellphone) to report any information on the stoning incident.