No passenger trains in Western Cape as Eskom cuts power over unpaid bills
No trains are operating in the Western Cape after an Eskom power cut.
Train operator Metrorail confirmed on social media that the regional service had been “temporarily suspended”. It said, in a reply to a commuter, that it didn't know when the service would be restored.
Prasa's acting regional manager, Raymond Maseko, said Eskom had cut power to the Passenger Rail Association of SA (Prasa), citing non-payment of fees.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalalu said the situation was due to “Prasa-Eskom matters”.
About 12.15pm, Metrorail Western Cape tweeted that all trains were at holding stations because of a “loss of overhead electrical power”.
Then, at 2.40pm, it announced: “The regional train service is temporarily suspended due to loss of traction power supply. Further updates to follow. Commuters are advised to make use of own alternative transport.”
The suspension of trains was expected to cause chaos in the city during the peak afternoon commute home as people scramble to find alternative transport.
In a short statement, transport minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that Eskom had “cut electricity supply to three Prasa substations, severely affecting Metrorail operations”.
He was expected to brief the media Thursday evening.
About 4pm, TimesLIVE witnessed commuters being turned away from Cape Town station.
All of the entrances were closed and a large police contingent stood outside telling passengers: “There is no power, there are no trains, you're not allowed in.”
This is a developing story.
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