Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has called on local business to develop smart solutions that will help Capetonians beat the peak-hour traffic.

Traffic congestion and the impact it has on the local economy was one of the key discussion points at a meeting earlier today between the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and Felicity Purchase, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport.

Purchase said private business could assist by allowing employees to work flexible working hours, to work remotely or to implement condensed work weeks. 

"All Capetonians arrange their lives around traffic, be it commuters who rely on public transport, motorists in private vehicles, or the businesses who need the road network to move their goods and services. 

"We are building new roads and we are prioritising public transport, but the projects won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, technology is changing our lives and the question is, why can the private sector not step up with innovative solutions to beat the traffic? 

"For instance, you are far better placed to develop smartphone applications for lift clubs and car pooling than us Purchase told the CCCI’s Transport Committee.

"You could also think of ways of incentivising employees to form lift clubs and to do car pooling. We have thousands of cars on our main roads with only one occupant – the driver. 

"If we can get four, or even only two people, to travel together we can half the number of private vehicles on the roads during the peak-hour periods." 

The City will be spending an additional R165,7 million in the 2019/’20 financial year on new roads and links to relieve congestion in the worst affected areas. These include:

– The dualling of Broadway Boulevard (R30 million)

– Work on the Belhar Main Road (R35 million)

– The completion of the Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg project (R24,9 million)

– Langverwacht Road (R23 million)

– Sandown Road (R46 million) 

A further R22 million has been allocated to upgrade the north- and southbound lanes of the R44.

The City will also invest approximately R114.8 million on building new public transport interchanges (PTIs) and to refurbish existing interchanges for commuters and the minibus-taxi operators. 

Construction of a new minibus taxi facility is already under way in Dunoon, while the contractor for a new PTI in Somerset West will be appointed within the next five months. Plans are also under way for major refurbishments of the facilities in Retreat and Wynberg.

Cape Town’s road network comprises over 10 600 kilometres and every inch of it is managed by the Transport Directorate.

"Our road network is our biggest asset and thus the City has set aside over R173 million for the maintenance and reconstruction of the city’s roads for the 2019/20 financial year, starting Monday, 1 July. 

"We are committed and the money has been allocated, but we need Cape Town’s business people to also contribute with smart ideas that will address the challenges within the transport realm."

Cape Times