Plans to resume MyCiTi Express service in doubt

Cape Town – Taxi association Codeta has poured cold water on the City’s plans for a new service provider to resume the suspended MyCiTi N2 Express service.

The service has been at a standstill since last May last year when the City failed to reach an agreement over its operation before the contract with the current shareholders, including the Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs), Codeta and Route 6 Taxi Association, lapsed.

Instead of a renewal going smoothly, the service has been suspended, affecting thousands of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain residents who depended on it to travel into the city and back.

On February 10, the stakeholders, including all three spheres of government, started a mediation process in an attempt to break the impasse so that a solution for the restart of the service could be found.

Transport mayco member Felicity Purchase said during the mediation process the mediator proposed that all parties continue in their deliberations to find a solution until the Western Cape High Court ruled on whether Gabs had the right to participate as a shareholder in the N2 Express Service.

In doing so, the N2 Express Service would resume until the court ruling.

“Codeta, however, stated that historical issues must be rectified first before the resumption of the service can be discussed. Given this stance, the mediation process has effectively reached a deadlock.

“In the interest of the affected MyCiTi commuters, the City will now pursue the tender route through a request for proposal (RFP) process to procure a service provider to operate the service,” said Purchase.

She said the City was now actively preparing to put the service out to tender so that the N2 Express Service could resume operations for MyCiTi commuters.

Codeta’s lawyer, Barnabas Xulu, said it would be irrational and unlawful to commence the provision of service to the public when the mistakes and irregularities of the past have not been corrected.

“The City has acknowledged and has conceded that the interim contract was not concluded in terms of the law. The mediation process was a sham intended to arm wrestle Codeta to resume service as before.

“Also, the interim service is not envisaged in the Nation Land Transport Act of 2005 as it does not provide for an interim contract, now they are doubling down as they want to do it twice.

“We should not lose sight that the City is the policymaker, the policy implementer and has oversight on the implementation of the policy at the same time. Maybe that is what requires urgent attention to be revisited,” said Xulu.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said: “The current state of public transportation in Khayelitsha is a devastating blow to the economy of the township and an attack on the livelihoods of the poorest of the poor.

“We are concerned about the lack of progress of Prasa and MyCiTi. We believe the longer the delay the longer it pushes people back.”