DA WC calls on SAPS and Prasa to provide urgent protection to Central Line workers

Issued by Ricardo Mackenzie – DA Constituency Head, Mitchells Plain
31 Aug 2022 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find soundbite here

The DA calls on SAPS and Prasa in the Western Cape to provide urgent protection to workers at the Cape Town Central Line corridor. This follows reports of gangsters allegedly attempting to violently extort workers and intimidate them to vacate the line and stop work.

The DA strongly condemns this blatant criminality and calls for the arrest of the alleged extortionists. This is a clear act of economic sabotage and we cannot tolerate the lawlessness and blatant economic terrorism that is happening in our communities. There has been an ongoing trend of extortionists attempting to derail government-related infrastructure projects in Cape Town in particular and this trend needs to stop.

The developments on the Central Line are symptomatic of the problems of dysfunctional state-owned entities under the national ANC government.

PRASA has appeared before the Western Cape Standing Committee on Transport a number of times over the past two years to present their recovery plans. Clearly, the security aspect of said plan is ineffective. Prasa, SAPS, Crime Intelligence and State Security need to work hand in hand to solve this problem of extortionists urgently.

Ricardo Mackenzie says, “In my capacity as Chairperson of the Western Cape Standing Committee on Transport, I will again invite Prasa to discuss their security plans to protect infrastructure projects. My constituents in Mitchells Plain have been waiting for years for rail services to be fixed. The lack of an effective security plans will cause severe delays and commuters will continue to lose their hard-earned cash in transport fees.”

Angus McKenzie says, “As the Sub Council Chairperson 15 which includes Langa, Bonteheuwel, Bishop Lavis and Netreg, I am firm in the position that extortion will not be tolerated. I have fought gangsterism fiercely over the years and will continue that fight against extortionist rings. The Central Line must be rebuilt, local hardworking community members must rebuild it and it must be made available to the communities that need it most.”

Far too many people are missing out on opportunities and work due to the exorbitant cost of public transport, with our children not being able to access better schools and opportunities. When rail works, our communities work. Our communities are able to pick themselves out of poverty and access better opportunities at a fraction of the cost of buses and taxis by making use of rail.

The DA in the Western Cape will fight this extortionist criminality head-on. We will not relent and we will win.

The National Government cannot improve safety and security nor rail in this province. Our position is clear: devolve rail and policing powers to competent sub-national governments that have shown their willingness to fight for the poorest of the poor and will equally ensure a police service that is dedicated to fighting extortion and gangsters and a rail system that works for the people