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Monday Dec 31, 2012

Cape mayor has big plans for MyCiTi buses

Heads will roll if the MyCiTi bus service isn't rolled out to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha in the new year, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille warned yesterday.

De Lille has identified this is one of the major goals her administration wants to achieve in 2013.

"If that doesn't happen heads will roll," she said at her home in Pinelands yesterday.

De Lille took a week off between Christmas and New Year to spend time with family but said she hadn't "really switched off" during that time.

"There is no rest for me really. We have to get next year's budget ready for public comment and I want us to deliver faster this year.

"We are doing the right things - we just have to do it faster," said De Lille.

Cape Town has seen several delays the past two months with the roll-out of the MyCiTi services to Salt River via Woodstock and Walmer Estate and the use of the new smaller buses in the city bowl.

This was largely due to the province which couldn't issue operating licenses for the new buses.

De Lille's plans to extend the MyCiTi service to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain were also met with opposition this year when the Cape Chamber of Commerce questioned its viability.

In November the city finally approved the business plan for the MyCiti N2 Express route to the south-east of the city despite ANC opposition.

The N2 express and phase 1B of the MyCiTi rollout will cost up to R1 billion to implement over the next three years.

This will go to constructing stations, depots, acquiring buses and the automated fare collection system. The cost will be covered by national government but the city will contribute 50 percent of the operating costs.

"We are ready for the rollout and I believe this type of infrastructure will bring people much closer to the city centre," she said.

De Lille says the city is working hard to address inequality and access to services in the city.

Cape Times

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