Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

New MyCiti depot under construction as N2 Express impasse continues

By Lukhanyo Mtuta Time of article published Aug 30, 2019

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A new MyCiti depot is under construction on the corner of Spine Road and Mew Way. It’s meant to connect Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain with Claremont and Wynberg. 

This area, on the border of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, has gone three months without the MyCiti bus service.

It had been operating for five years without interruptions prior to the service coming to a standstill at the end of May. 

A new contract to resume service is yet to be signed.

Former Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said: “It is clear from the breakdown in the negotiations that the city did not negotiate the shift in operations in good faith or at all. This is why they can’t get a new contract in place – they failed to negotiate a new operating model and they have breached the trust of the taxi operators who have been the founding partners of this service.”

This week the city announced that they’ve told the N2 Express company shareholders that they have until September 28 to resume service. 

“We have sent a letter to the three shareholders – namely Codeta, Route 6 Taxi Association, and the Golden Arrow Bus Service – indicating that the buses must be back on the road by 28 September 2019. The shareholders have been advised to submit an internal agreement to the City which will see the service reinstated on or before this deadline,” said mayoral committee member for transport Felicity Purchase.

The city also claimed that Codeta had failed to attend some of the meetings to discuss and resolve contract matters. 

Codeta’s legal representative, Barnabas Xulu, said they did receive the letter and they saw what the city said in the media.

“We are working on that matter as we speak. I am not in a position to comment. There will be communication that will pop up once everything is done,” said Xulu. 

Meetings to discuss a new contract were held after the first one expired. Herron said the new contract was supposed to be in place before the expiration of the previous one.

“If there is any truth to the suggestion that there was a problem with the old contract then the city manager (who was Director: Legal Services at the time) and his Legal Services staff, including the external law firm that drafted the contracts, must be dealt with.

"The bottom line is that a new contract had to be negotiated and drafted. The status of the lapsed contract is irrelevant to that process,” said Herron.

It is unclear what it would mean for the depot project if negotiations would collapse. The city said it would pursue other alternatives if the deadline isn’t met.

Alternatives include appointing another service provider until a new vehicle operating company is appointed.

The depot forms part of Phase 2 of the “massive infrastructure and network project”.

Herron said the contract dispute could put the project in serious jeopardy. 

The enabling works contract is valued at an estimated R73 million.

Weekend Argus

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