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PRASA and HDA Set to Relocate Over 5,000 Households for Cape Town Central Line Restoration

Published March 13, 2024
2 months ago


Cape Town’s central railway line, stalled for four years owing to severe vandalism and the unauthorized occupation of nearby land, is set to breathe anew as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) collaborates closely with the Housing Development Agency (HDA) to initiate a large-scale temporary relocation process for thousands of households. The move comes as a relief and a significant step towards the restoration of a vital transport artery in the Western Cape's public transit system.


The initiative, which has been meticulously planned and discussed with key stakeholders, aims to clear and secure the area surrounding the central line to facilitate much-needed repair and maintenance work. The move will affect over 5,000 households, with the first phase already completed - more than 1,250 families from Langa have been relocated. The HDA's current focus is to transition approximately 4,000 additional households to temporary accommodations in Philippi and Khayelitsha within the next month.


HDA Manager Ndumiso Mkhwanazi articulated confidence in the process, underscoring that the project is not only on schedule but also backed by a timeline for the permanent resettlement of the affected occupants. This strategy assures that not only is the rail service being restored, but also that the displaced inhabitants are being responsibly and ethically managed to prevent further disruptions.


With funding assurances from the government slated to arrive in the near future, preparations for permanent relocation sites are also in the pipeline. This funding is paramount for the land development phase, which sets the foundation for definitive relocation measures.


The project underlines the complexity of urban planning in the face of unplanned settlements and highlights the ongoing struggle against infrastructural decay exacerbated by vandalism. It also accentuates the intersecting challenges of public transport, housing, and social welfare—each a cornerstone of urban development and communal well-being.


This initiative is expected to have a domino effect on the overall improvement of the public transport system in Cape Town, providing safer, more reliable services for commuters, and stimulating economic activities linked to transportation. Additionally, the restoration of the central railway line could be a beacon of progress in addressing longstanding urban management issues, from ensuring effective land use to enhancing security and safety for all citizens.



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