A transport plan for the next 15 years may mean that ratepayers will bear the financial brunt of the next phase of the MyCiti bus service that was recently adopted by the City Council. Called Phase 2A, this plan also details the scrapping routes that are unprofitable, and also allows other transport to make use of dedicated MyCiti lanes.

In the plan document, the City projected that the rates contributions for 2020/21 would amount to R410.7-million, R435.4m for 2021/22, and R461.5m for 2022/23. This will equate to a 6% increase per annum. The total in operations and capital expenditure for Phase 2A will amount to R17-billion over the next 15 years.

“This calls for an increase in rates to assist with financing Phase 2A. Ratepayers are already up in arms opposing the 20/21 rates increase and other increased charges for services,” said African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) councillor Demetrius Dudley to IOL.

“Again, with SA in the throes of an increasing economic recession, companies closing down and many unable to meet their financial commitments, with billions of rand in investment, the leadership in the City chose rather to protect their credit and audit-status ratings with finance institutions than releasing the ratepayer’s money into an emergency fund to offer its citizens some relief, even if only temporarily.”

According to Cope caucus leader Faroruk Cassiem, Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa, and he thinks it is odd that smart transport solutions have not been considered.

MyCiti service has been suspended on the N2 Express, and this has had a considerable impact on commuters in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha. This service has been suspended since May 2019, and according to the City report, an interim operator will be sought for the MyCiti N2 Express service.

Angus McKenzie, who is the Chairperson of the City’s special Transport Portfolio Committee, is in support of the plan and says it lays the foundation for a successful system of public transport.

“We have shown the way for public transport, we are a competent administration. One needs to just look at the state of Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of SA) to see what situation we are in,” he said.

Picture: Twitter/Ashraf Hendricks

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