The R6.6 million plan is meant to be rolled out next month.
It was with much media hype that the city said those who were actively looking for work would be able to ride the bus for free during off-peak periods. Job hunters would be able to get a Myconnect card and ride the bus between 10am and 3.30pm without being charged for the trip.
When pushed for answers by the Weekend Argus, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, was vague about the mechanics of the project, when it will get off the ground and how the budgeted money will be spent.
“We will implement the concession this financial year which is why we had to bring that R6.6m onto the budget. We planned to implement at about the end of September and that’s still our objective,” he said.
Herron’s justification for not being able to present any details of his plan at this stage, despite the announcement being made on May 30, was: “This hasn’t been done anywhere in South Africa before and so we had no precedents to work from. We’ve been working out the rules and the mechanics to implement this. We’re making good progress and will announce how we will go about it soon.”
But that “soon” cannot come quickly enough for people like Matthew Knott, who hasn’t held down a steady job in 10 years.
He relies on the MyCiTi service to get him to job interviews. Knott was hoping to make use of the free service “right away”. “I travel by bus and the costs just for getting to an interview do add up. I only have so much in savings left,” he said.
Sivuyo Nekile has been unemployed since January 2016 and lives in Sunningdale. He is excited about the financial relief the free service would bring.
“I would use it, I have to go to interviews and it costs a lot of money to travel. The MyCiTi is good, there’s no traffic (in the bus lane) and it flows,” he told Weekend Argus.