In an effort to protect the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA) rail infrastructure, government has introduced interventions to strengthen security for these public assets.
“The focus of the intervention seeks to manage the downward spiral resulting from rampant criminality through the implementation of crime prevention strategies, working with communities and stakeholders,” Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said.
The Minister was speaking during the launch of the “People’s Responsibility to Protect” PR2P programme on Monday in Pretoria.
The programme is aimed at creating partnerships between PRASA and local communities living near railway lines. Communities will then provide a force multiplier additional to PRASA security in protecting rail infrastructure.
The first phase of the programme entails the rollout of a public engagement programme led by the PRASA Board. The second phase entails the training of volunteers to understand their roles in terms of the security and neighbourhood watch.
“They will also be trained on how to work with communities, with the police as well as PRASA Protection Services in an integrative manner that makes a telling difference.
“Upon completion of the security training, it is expected that the volunteers will be equipped with grade C Security Certificates accredited by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority,” Mbalula said.
A total of 9 860 community based volunteers will partner with PRASA nationwide focusing specifically on stations and corridors experiencing the most crime.
“The volunteers, once rigorously trained and accepted, will assist in the reduction of crime and vandalism risk inside the trains, platforms, ticket offices, rail infrastructure and to protect rail commuters.
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