The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has started a recruitment process to employee 3 100 security guards to protect its rail infrastructure and other assets.
The recruitment drive will include static and train guards, operations monitoring controllers and armed response guards.
The security initiative comes off the back of increasing overhead cable theft on rail lines and trains being cancelled as a result.
For example, State-owned freight utility Transnet in February said about 21 trains are cancelled on a daily basis as a result of cable theft, costing the utility R150-million a year to replace cables.
PRASA says its focus is to ensure a holistic protection service for the organisation’s assets, commuters and employees.
The new recruits will also help curb general crime, which will help decrease the vandalism of PRASA’s properties and theft of assets.
The newly appointed guards will complement existing protection officials, who have arrested 185 suspects in recent weeks and recovered sizeable amounts of stolen cable and other assets.
PRASA invites potential recruits to visit its website for further details on the available positions.
“Employing our own security personnel will give us greater control of the protection of our network and assets.
“Our intention is to give preference to qualifying individuals who reside in communities near our rail network,” says PRASA administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo.
The administrator’s plan to in-source security personnel is in line with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s statement that about R700-million on the part of PRASA must be directed toward creating permanent jobs and sustainable livelihoods for those entrusted with securing the railways.