Government has been urged to complete the long-overdue Greenview train station in Mamelodi East.
Residents of Phomolong informal settlement and Extension 6 demanded answers over the train station worth R102 million.
The Greenview train station was set to improve the service to commuters in Phomolong as the distance they travelled to catch a train would be reduced.
They complained that the Greenview train station project was abandoned, adding that criminals vandalised the station every day.
Concerned community member Pretty Mokgabudi said the station project started in 2011. It created jobs in the area, but now it has stopped.
After the completion of the train station, commuters were no longer supposed to walk long distances to catch a train either at Mamelodi Gardens or Pienaarspoort train stations.
“The project was abandoned and criminals and drug addicts started tearing up the Greenview train station since the security guards’ contract was terminated,” said Mokgabudi.
“The Greenview train station project has been stripped before it could be opened for public,” she added.
Criminals got away with almost everything at the train station. Anything that is made out of aluminium, steel, electric cables, windows doors and rail tracks.
Mokgabudi said she was concerned because even the train going to Pienaarspoort station, in the far east of Mamelodi, no longer stopped at Greenview train station since it was vandalised.
“During the day it’s a playground for children and it is not safe and at night. It’s a hideout for drug addicts and criminals who also help themselves to what is left at the station,” said Mabena.
“Criminals have all the time in the world to vandalise the station since there is no security guards patrolling at night,” she added.
The residents of Phomolong pleaded with the government to intervene to allow the project to continue as promised.
The train station was also going to be more cost effective for learners travelling from Mamelodi East to Mamelodi West to attend school.
Station project manager, Buhlebenkosi Maphosa, said the project had not failed.
“The construction of Greenview station started in 2011 and it was scheduled for completion in 2015,” said Maphosa.
However, the project encountered numerous delays due to a force majeure and community unrests which had affected the project timelines.
Maphosa said the project came to a halt because the then appointed contractor cited community unrest and therefore could not complete the project.
“The plan was to complete the station within the approved budget and time.
“At the moment, commuters from Phomolong Extension 6 walk approximately 2.7km to either Mamelodi Gardens or Pienaarspoort stations to catch a train,” said Maphosa.
“The project stopped in October 2018, but be assured that the project is moving ahead.”
This article was republished from Rekord East with permission