TRANSPORT Minister Sbu Ndebele had a stern warning for vandals yesterday: "We will hunt you down, put you in prison and throw the key away."
Ndebele was at Orlando station in Soweto for the opening of the refurbished station by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
Encouraging commuters to take care of the station, Ndebele said vandalism was immoral.
"Vandalism on trains and stations is a serious offence. Besides being criminal, it is immoral," he emphasised.
The station is part of the Soccer World Cup legacy project. The new building will replace the dark subway. It has been redone to accommodate 25000 people.
Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana said the renovations, which cost R71 million, were a project to bridge an apartheid divide that offered black people inferior facilities.
"Gone are the days when public transport was only for poor people in the townships. Today we are making a statement to our people that they can now travel in dignity," Montana said.
The station's features include:
l Extended platforms with staircases;
l Wide entrance ramps with lifts for people with disability; and
l Integrated control system with CCTV cameras that monitor the movement of passengers in the station.
The station will be part of the rail transport system to transport fans to Nasrec, a station which is a two-minute walk from Soccer City Stadium.