PRASA has reinstated suburban services in Cape Town (Photo: Metrorail)

SOUTH AFRICA: Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has reinstated suburban services on the Cape Town – Mutual – Langa; Cape Town – Pinelands – Langa; and Cape Town – Ysterplaat – Lavistown – Bellville routes after a long hiatus caused by the pandemic and vandalism.

Services restarted on July 26, with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula travelling to mark the occasion.


The Central Line branches through Langa were the busiest on the Western Cape commuter rail network before the pandemic, accounting for almost half of the ridership.

As with several other railways across the country, the infrastructure had been badly damaged with stations vandalised and overhead cables stolen, and services on the routes via Langa ceased operation in November 2019.

Illegal settlers subsequently occupied the alignment around Langa station, and although the Western Cape High Court granted PRASA permission to remove them with an initial deadline of November 2021, the process took significantly longer.

Now that these branches have been restored, of the Western Cape network only the Central Line branches to Kapteinsklip and Chris Hani, the outer section of the Northern Line between Bellville and Strand, and the branch to Muldersvlei are yet to reopen. PRASA says that it will reinstate these routes gradually over the coming months.