Passenger figures since the operation of the Gautrain service between Johannesburg and Tshwane has been beyond expectations. During the first week the number of passengers has steadily increased from 19 248 on the first day of operations to 41 883 on 9 August 2011. Gautrain is grateful to the people of Gauteng for their support of this essential mode of public transport.
Some unknown criminal elements have, unfortunately, caused mayor disruptions to the service of Gautrain as there was interference with necessary equipment for the operation of Gautrain on the morning of 10 August 2011. Copper cables were stolen in the Tshwane area which disrupted the Gautrain service between Hatfield and Centurion stations. A total of 54 trains were cancelled due to this act of criminality.
Realising the inconvenience this criminal act caused to passengers, the Bombela Concession Company provided buses between Hatfield and Centurion stations to assist passengers in their daily commute. Seven hours later, by 13:00, the normal Gautrain service between the affected stations was restored.
The Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Mr. Ismail Vadi, does not only see this criminal act as interference of the normal functioning of public transport but as an act of economic sabotage which he condemns in the strongest terms and which has caused a massive inconvenience to thousands of working people using the Gautrain. Mr. Vadi calls on law enforcement agencies not to see this as petty crime and urges them to leave no stone unturned in apprehending these perpetrators of these criminal acts.
Mr. Vadi also calls on the Bombela Concession Company to take pro-active steps to prevent any further theft of cables which could disrupt the Gautrain service to the public.