Cape Town - 121016 - MyCiti - Public transport within the city centre. PICTUER: RYAN JACOBS

Cape Town - MyCiti operations are being monitored manually because the City of Cape Town has cancelled the R234 million contract for the IT system installed to do this.

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said the seven-year contract with Lumen Technologies had been cancelled because of underperformance.

But Lumen Technologies’ project manager Shukri Kadri said the company was surprised by the cancellation.

He denied the company had underperformed or deviated from its contract.

The system worked well, and the company had successfully launched the MyCiTi service’s Hout Bay route, Kadri said.

The company was appointed in 2011 to implement and run an IT system for the control centre that monitors the MyCiTi bus services.

Neilson said: “This contract includes the scheduling and monitoring of the MyCiTi bus operations, such as the automatic monitoring of buses by GPS to record their adherence to scheduled times.”

The company had not signed off on the technology or issued a certificate to validate the software.

Neilson said the signing off was crucial to allow the city to monitor effectively whether the MyCiTi operating companies adhered to schedules and arrived at bus stations at the required times.

“(Lumen Technologies has) to validate the software, as this tells us whether the results we are getting from the system are accurate.

“It seems that they are not able to validate the software, and this is important because the vehicle operating companies get penalised if they are not getting to the stations on time,” Neilson said.

Until the city appointed a new contractor, it would manually monitor operations with personnel stationed at MyCiTi bus stations. The city needed a sound monitoring system.

“The vehicle operating companies can say we have said they are arriving late at stations, but then ask for proof. Even though we have the software, it needs to be validated,” he said.

A “significant” portion of the R234m had been paid to Lumen for the purchase and installation of the software.

The city needed to appoint a company to complete the validation of the software and monitor it until the end of the contract in 2018. Neilson said the city manager was investigating claims of fraudulent invoicing by a subcontractor.

He said he was unable to provide more information while the investigation was under way. Lumen Technologies had lodged the complaint against its subcontractor.

“The bus operations are not directly affected by this cancellation,” Neilson said.

“Passengers are not directly affected and the system will continue to operate.”

Kadri said the cancellation had come as a surprise.

“The system was working fine, we never underperformed. In fact, we were ahead of schedule.”

Kadri said the company had submitted the systems acceptance and functional acceptance reports and that there had been just one glitch, which the city had given the company until the end of last month to rectify. Kadri said he could not say what action the company might take.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said the city would advertise this week.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Cape Times