There has been a gradual decline in the number of passengers using Shosholoza Meyl, since the long-distance rail service was handed over from freight company Transnet to rail agency Prasa.
Prasa spokesperson, Victor Dlamini says the passenger drop is partly caused because of poorer quality in rail technology, compared to other modes of transport.
He admits that the Shosholoza Meyl service takes too long get from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
You can't compete with buses or planes, which takes two hours.— Victor Dlamini, Prasa spokesperson
Dlamini says the rail agency wants to get sufficient funding to re-invest in improved technology to compete with other transport services.
He adds that the Shosholoza Meyl service has had to accommodate freight cargo, as the rail network is owned by Transnet.
If your'e on the Shosholoza Meyl and there's a freight train, you have to wait for it to travel first. That makes the arrival times unpredictable.— Victor Dlamini,Prasa spokesperson
Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes: