The resumption of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) services on Thursday morning was marred when a train came off the rails along the notorious Central Line in Cape Town
The train service had been suspended for nearly two weeks because of safety concerns sparked by the shooting of an armed security guard on the platform of the Chris Hani Station last week on Monday.
Commenting on the derailment the United National Transport Union (UNTU) said: "Early this morning an empty train with a train driver, metro guard and a section manager went out on the route to do a final check before the service resumes this morning.
"This train derailed just after 04:00 between the Netreg Station and the Heideveld Station. Nobody was injured, but the train has been severely damaged."
UNTU General Secretary Steve Harris said while the Railway Safety Regular still needs to investigate the cause of the derailment, there are indications that the derailment was caused by the absence of "rail clips" that have been stolen.
Harris said as a result of the derailment the Central Line "has once again been suspended due to the vandalism of infrastructure".
The incident on Thursday in Cape Town comes after another Prasa train derailed in Germiston in Gauteng, where it was established that the rail clips had also been stolen.
On Tuesday last week a third train derailed at the Geldenhuys Station in Germiston after the service had to use manual authorisation due to cable theft. More than 200 commuters were injured.
“Railway lines, irrespective of whether they belong to Prasa or to Transnet, are a national asset and we cannot sit back and allow criminals to steal the cheapest means of transport for the poorest of the poor. Prasa and Transnet are state-owned enterprises funded with tax payer money,” said Harris.