Thu. Jul 18th, 2019

MyCiti bus dispute: No end in sight for Khayelitsha commuters

MyCiTi bus disputeThe only news about the Khayelitsha MyCiti bus dispute coming from the City of Cape Town is that negotiations are still on-going.

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The Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain MyCiti bus routes remain out of service as a contractual dispute between the City of Cape Town and N2 Express Joint Venture continues to drag on.

MyCiti bus dispute

The N2 Express Joint Venture involves three parties in the transport of commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha to the city center, including Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta), the Route 6 Taxi Association and Golden Arrow Bus Services.

The dispute is centered around Codeta claims that the agreement between the parties favoured Golden Arrow and wanted minibus taxis to be given a greater role on the route.

The initial agreement lapsed on 31 May 2019, meaning transport on that route has been suspended for nearly three weeks already and patience is beginning to wear very thin.

Not a new problem

Despite recently-appointed Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase’s near-constant promises that negotiations are on-going between the city and N2 Express, people are not happy.

While she has only been in the job for a few weeks, the city actually began extending Coteda’s responsibilities on the route as far back as March 2018.

“These changes signify an important milestone where the taxi associations, who are part of the JV, will begin to take over the operations of the N2 express service from GABS in an incremental manner,” then Mayco member for transport Brett Herron said in a statement at the time.

However, it is clear the taxi associations are not satisfied with the progress of this incremental hand over of services and let the agreement between the parties lapse at the start of June 2019.

Herron, now a member of the Good party under Patricia de Lille, told IOL more recently that the city had indeed known about this issue for more than 12 months.

“The City paid for the capacity building of the taxi operators and their staff through a programme run by the University of Cape Town so that they could ultimately operate as stand-alone operators,” he said.

“It seems to me that the city has not been adequately engaged with the question of how to make this work. It’s a narrow question that should have been negotiated with some authenticity over the last year.”

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