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Cape Town -
The city has started paying part of the R41 million in compensation to taxi operators who have left the industry after their businesses were affected by the roll-out of the MyCiTi service.
On Monday, mayoral committee (Mayco) member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater Brett Herron said 29 out of a group of 88 operators who have surrendered their businesses have already been paid out.
The compensation is in line with the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) Phase 1A business plan, which adopted a compensation policy for transport operators.
As part of the Early Exit Compensation (EEC), taxi operators are required to surrender their operating licences and give the city proof that they have scrapped their vehicles in order to be awarded compensation.
“The compensation offered is based on some individual factors such as the average legitimate profit of the operators in each association. The total value to be paid out for the 88 offers is about R41m,” Herron said.
While 29 operators have been paid already, the remaining 59 are due to be paid in the coming weeks.
In August, Du Noon taxi bosses threatened to disrupt the MyCiTi bus service along the West Coast, saying the city was overdue in paying their compensation.
This was, however, called off following last-minute negotiations with the city.
Taxi owners said they were promised payment by the end of June and the city later committed to finalising the exit compensation by the end of August.
The Du Noon Taxi Association is one of five West Coast taxi associations which formed the Kidrogen company.
Kirdrogen, Golden Arrow and Transpeninsula are the joint vehicle-operating companies for the MYCiTi service.
The city is currently negotiating a 12-year contract for these companies to take control of the MYCiTi assets.
Herron added: “Certain minibus-taxi operators, affiliated to the Kidrogen vehicle-operating company who are affected by the existing MyCiTi services in the Table View area approached the city for early exit compensation (EEC). The City agreed to pay EEC, but only where there was an oversupply of vehicles on a route, where operators have approached the city, where they have agreed to exit the industry and where the relevant vehicle operator company supports such early payment.”
In most cases, the operators who have been compensated elected to only surrender one or two of their multiple operating licences.
The city is also processing the early exit compensation for Blaauwberg Taxi Association, Ysterplaat Taxi Association and Maitland Taxi Associations. This is expected to be completed by end of the year.
Frank Qotyiwe, taxi owner and secretary of the Du Noon Taxi Association, has taken EEC after part of his business was affected when the MyCiTi routes started operating.
Qotyiwe said: “We are satisfied with the EEC, because it was an offer based on the survey results of what our businesses were actually worth.”
In a statement from the city, Qotyiwe said he planned to invest in Kidrogen and work for the company.
“I’m looking forward to reaping the dividends,” he said.
Herron welcomed the partnership with the taxi operators saying: “We value their commitment to a new era of transport despite the huge impact for them.
“This process of paying out the early exit compensation marks a significant step in the IRT project programme and is an important component of industry transition.” - Cape Times