Cape Town - The DA has been accused of telling only half the story about the state of public transport in Cape Town, and of not speaking about shortcomings that have occurred under its watch.
Transport and Public Works Standing Committee chairperson Derrick America (DA) said, in his contribution to the debate on the Western Cape Appropriation Bill, the only way rail services in the Western Cape could be fixed were if they came under the custodianship of the City and the Province.
America spoke of the R70 million allocation in the upcoming financial year towards the extension of the Blue Dot Taxi Incentive Programme.
He said the programme was a good example of how effective governance made a difference, by investing in projects that not only protect passenger safety but encourage quality services while improving the standard of taxi driving practices.
However, ANC provincial finance and economic opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo said this view was one-sided.
“It is important firstly to dismiss some of the untruths, particularly when we started to hear about what is happening in public transport, an area very critical for all of us in light of the developments we see and the safety issues around this,” she said.
Nkondlo said although the provincial government spoke about efficiency and wanting to devolve the rail services to the City, it was silent about the R40m deficit of the MyCiti buses and about inexplicable delays, running into months, in the issuance of operating licences for taxi operators by the Provincial Regulatory Entity.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said, in his speech, the Province had been prudent with its finances, and as a result had found itself in a position to allocate R10.1 billion more over the medium term across the province’s five districts and 30 municipalities.
Responding to this, the Al Jama-ah Party said it wanted each of the 400 wards in the province to receive their own budgets.
Al Jama-ah MPL Galil Brinkhuis said this would give wards in poor areas the impetus to redress the inequalities of the apartheid era.
GOOD Party MPL Shaun August said the budget got some things right, such as the focus on infrastructure investment. He said this would generate mass job creation.