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Tuesday Jan 08, 2013

Objections put brakes on Cape Town's MyCiTi roll-out

The implementation of the MyCiTi bus service in Salt River and Walmer Estate, originally planned for December 1, is subject to continuing delays due to objections lodged by Golden Arrow Bus Service and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) Western Cape.

In August, the city applied for public transport operating licences to have the MyCiTi bus service operate in Salt River and Walmer Estate, but Santaco and Golden Arrow lodged objections with the Western Cape Provincial Operating Licensing Board, delaying the issue of operating licences.

A hearing was set for December 15, but the Western Cape Provincial Regulatory Entity asked for more submissions from concerned parties as there were a lot of queries relating to submitted objections.

The hearing was then set for January 21, said Merissa Whitehead, the city's executive director for transport, roads and stormwater. "The city is not happy because we couldn't start operating from the planned period. We planned to start operating during the festive season. Operations will commence from February 1," she said.

Nqazeleni Matayitayi, secretary of the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association which is an umbrella body of 25 taxi associations, questioned why the city's vehicle operating companies (VOCs), formed to operate the MyCiTi buses on a contract basis, would operate on routes which were not their permitted taxi routes.

However, Whitehead said Matayitayi's concerns were related to indirectly affected taxi associations rather than taxi operators who had routes in the area. She said the city has had "substantial" negotiations with directly affected taxi associations which were now part of the VOCs.

Santaco chairman Venon Billet alleged that the city had not consulted with affected parties in accordance with legislation governing the matter. "We will not allow the city to flout legislation," said Billet, adding that the taxi industry needed adequate and meaningful consultation.

Transport MEC Robin Carlisle's spokesperson, Siphesihle Dube, said they were waiting for the outcome of the hearing on January 21.

Cape Times


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