Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says authorities have identified the culprits behind the devastating fire at Cape Town train station.
He says the perpetrators behind the suspected attack must be charged with arson and economic sabotage.
At least 18 train carriages were been destroyed in the fire that broke out on Thursday morning.
It's the latest incident in a series of more than 20 train fires this year in Cape Town.
Metrorail had to temporarily shut down the station after its entire network was brought to a standstill. A limited train service is now running.
Mbalula says there's been a calculated effort to paralyse the rail network in Cape Town.
He visited the train station on Thursday afternoon and condemned the train fires which he described as "an attack on the poor".
Those people who have done this have been identified. As to when the arrests will happen, it will depend on the police.— Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport
They've been identified and they are known...— Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport
The burning of trains is violent and is an attack to the poor. We must all join in and condemn the acts of damage to services that help the most vulnerable amongst us to get to work and their homes. pic.twitter.com/mH2sdWxq3V— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) November 28, 2019
Mbalula went on a walk-about with Cape Town's Metrorail boss Richard Walker and other officials to assess the damage before holding a press briefing.
We call upon organs of civil society, which include organisations like United Commuters’ Voice and #Unite Behind and many others, to champion the campaign against criminality in our railways. The duty to improve our commuter rail service is a collective one. pic.twitter.com/wgND9NJdjI— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) November 28, 2019
Over time, Metrorail has been a target of criminal acts which have had a devastating effect on the service. These acts have far reaching implications for the economy and the commuters who rely on our trains to get to work every day. https://t.co/khviRk2ED8 pic.twitter.com/nhrkkytHAz— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) November 28, 2019
In the early hours of this morning, 2 train sets were set alight at Cape Town station this morning. This resulted in the gutting of 18 coaches with the damage estimated at R61 million. Over the last 5 years, 213 coaches were lost due to arson at a cost of R643 million. pic.twitter.com/mXvwCpcTIT— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) November 28, 2019
Image: Fikile Mbalula on Twitter
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [WATCH] Arsonists behind Cape Town train fires are known, says Minister Mbalula