Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has instructed the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) board to improve reliability of trains and trains cancellations by 60% and 41% respectively.
This comes after a meeting Nzimande had with PRASA which was prompted when president Cyril Ramaphosa had first-hand experience of the difficulties regularly experienced by commuters when using Metrorail trains.
The president boarded a train from Mabopane to the Tshwane CBD recently when the train was delayed by two hours, which led to huge overcrowding as well.
Nzimande said the board has been tasked with a responsibility to secure trains, passengers and assets by deploying security personnel on trains, and also to erect fencing or walling in depots in all regions.
He said the board must also address the lack of consequence management, following the Mountainview crash near Pretoria in January which claimed four lives and left 620 injured.
"I have also escalated the vandalisation and torching of trains to the Security cluster of Cabinet so that government deals decisively with this criminality," he said.
Nzimande said he will also be working to change laws so that torching of trains can be declared as a serious crime of arson.