NATIONAL NEWS - Theft, vandalism and sabotage of railway infrastructure and equipment were in the spotlight during a security workshop hosted by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) on Wednesday 11 November.
It was held in collaboration with customers and the Mineral Council of South Africa (MCSA) to explore ways of stepping up the war against vandalism and theft.
Transnet revealed measures it has deployed to curb and deter criminal activities on South Africa’s railway networks. These include:
• Eliminating avoidable train stops during operation, and in cases where the trains need to stop, establishing safe zones to enable the trains to stop in secured areas.
• Forming collaborative technical teams in each corridor with customers and the SAPS, other forums or bodies, and law enforcement agencies that are dedicated to fighting against crime.
• Improving the security of wagons in transit to limit access to cargo in transit.
• Investment in technology to ensure that incidents such as copper theft are eradicated, particularly on the Natcor and Central Corridors.
• Improving visibility of Transnet Freight Rail’s network through new sensing and lighting technology that detects incidents before they happen.
• Establishment of a Security Nerve and Command Centre that is dedicated to the safeguarding of the rail infrastructure and the provision of an early warning system to prevent criminal activities in the rail system.
"Customers and the Mineral Council South Africa who attended the workshop shared critical insights on how the theft, vandalism and sabotage of railway infrastructure and equipment have affected their businesses, and proposed how they could partner with Transnet Freight Rail to combat this scourge," said Transnet Freight Rail spokesperson Mike Asefovitz.
"There was generally positive feedback from customers concerning the initiatives presented by TFR, actions that are already being deployed to save customer freight cargo, and measures taken to improve customer service levels by reducing and eradicating security incidences."