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4 May 2018

Release: immediately

The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape urges the state owned entity, PRASA, to speed up its programme to eliminate dangerous level crossings, and commit to a timeline to eliminate them.

I will be writing to the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, to ask whether PRASA has any plans to remove level crossings in the Western Cape. I call on residents who make use of level crossings to do so with caution, adhering to any warning signals present to ensure their safe crossing.

Richard Walker reported in the Cape Times that, “We have a level crossing elimination programme and so far we have eliminated seven (7) of the forty three (43) level crossings in the region. We have built bridges over the level crossings and in the long run that would be the solution.”

Last week, Friday 27 April 2018, seven (7) people were tragically killed at Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath when a Metrorail train collided with a bakkie.

Eight (8) years earlier, in August 2010, 10 children were also tragically killed when a taxi driven by Jacob Humphreys collided with a train. It is widely reported that residents from Blackheath have been waiting for a number of years for the crossing to upgraded or eliminated, but nothing has been done.

All of these unfortunate deaths are avoidable and PRASA should urgently and without any further delay eliminate all level crossings that pose a danger to the lives of residents and commuters.

The DA in the WC is committed to ensuring that residents have a safe and reliable rail service; and will hold the necessary parties to account to ensure this.

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