Prasa takes steps to evict squatters from three railway lines

Prasa takes steps to evict squatters from three railway lines

Prasa takes steps to evict squatters from three railway lines

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is taking steps to remove the informal settlement located along its lines in Cape Town.

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According to the Southern Mail, Prasa is appointing a legal team to handle the evictions, and is also finalising a tender for fences and walls along three key commuter lines.

Raymond Maseko, Prasa regional manager, says the parastatal approved a budget for the current financial year for a pre-cast concrete wall to protect the central line, as well as steel fences and concrete palisades to protect its southern and northern lines. He adds that several barriers will be used to meet the different risks faced by each of the rail corridors.

‘Concrete palisade, steel mesh or palisade – none of those will work on the central line. What we think is going to work is the wall that we piloted in Nyanga.’

Furthermore, Prasa plans to work closely with community police forums and neighbourhood watch groups in the future to help protect railway property. The developments were announced during a meeting between Prasa officials, sub-council 20 and the City of Cape Town to discuss safety and security and the increased squatting on railway land.

The fencing tender includes portions of Prasa’s southern line in sub-council 20 (Wynberg to Wittebome) and under the M5/Prince George Drive Bridge, located between Ottery and Southfield railway stations.

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Carmen Siebritz, Ward 63 councillor, says the fencing requirements extend past the bridge. ‘We have more fencing now that is also missing along the railway from Ottery station all the way down to Southfield station.’ She adds that it is important to cover the M5 bridge with the fencing programme as squatting and littering have been an issue even though the area has been cleared. She says the problem will return if the area is not adequately fenced.

Following the meeting, Maseko noted that the fencing tender will be changed to include the full extent of the line from Ottery to Southfield, including the M5 bridge. The tender is likely to be issued by the end of July or middle of August.

A legal team, which will be appointed in the next two weeks, will apply to the Western Cape High Court for eviction notices to be served to squatters occupying Prasa land across the province, says Neil Engelbrecht, assistant manager of real estate asset management at Prasa.

Emile Langenoven, Ward 62 councillor, has called on the public for information and affidavits that could help the parastatal make its case for evictions, while the Wynberg Improvement District has started asking business owners for those affidavits.

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Also read:

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Picture: City of Cape Town / Facebook