Chaos at Cape Town station as commuters without tickets cornered by Metrorail

There was chaos at Cape Town Central Station on Tuesday morning when incoming commuters on the Khayelitsha line were cornered by Metrorail staff and told to buy tickets.

Many commuters no longer buy train tickets because, they say, the trains do not always reach their destination.

“Why should I buy a ticket when the services are very poor? I am not sure to be at work on time. When the train gets stuck at any point I have to jump off and rush for a minibus taxi,” said a domestic worker working in Pinelands.

She was taking the train from Nyanga Junction to Pinelands station at 7am but it was late, so she had to take a different train to a station further from her work.

At Esplanade train station, the last station before Cape Town, there were security guards at all unauthorised exits. Several passengers going to Esplanade chose not to get off at the station in order to avoid the security guards. Some jumped off as the train approached Cape Town train station, only to jump back on the train when they saw there was no way out.

At the terminus, about 100 passengers were cornered by Metrorail staff and told to buy tickets. Commuters shouted in isiXhosa “Vula” (Open), but no-one was allowed to leave without buying a ticket.

Commuters and security guards try to outwit each other on Tuesday morning. Video: Bernard Chiguvare

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This story first appeared on GroundUp

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