Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town plans to spend R3 billion to expand MyCiTi routes over the next three years, but it has been unable to resume the existing N2 expressway service after it had been suspended 50 days ago.

An impasse between the city and taxi association Codeta brought bus services to a halt on June 1. About 6000 MyCiTi commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha were left stranded. Codeta has since taken the matter to court.

Brett Herron, former mayco member for transport and now Good Party secretary, has appealed to national Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to intervene.

“It took about two years of engagements with the taxi associations and communities before we reached agreement and support for the planned project. Many people worked day and night on getting this service operational,” Herron said.

“I believe that the city failed to honour its obligations - to negotiate a new operating model that would see the taxi association shareholders assume responsibility for operating the service, or parts of it, as we agreed in May 2018.

“I cannot sit by and allow a project that is so integral in resolving the public transport crisis we face in Cape Town to simply be abandoned along with thousands of desperate commuters.”

Current mayco member for transport, Felicity Purchase, said the city has reached out to provincial Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela and Mbalula to help resolve the matter.

“We are doing our utmost to get the service back on track. To this end, we have included Minister Madikizela and Minister Mbalula’s departments in the process and can confirm we are meeting with them again this week,” Purchase said.

“We are very concerned about the plight of the commuters and have made arrangements for them to use alternative transport until the matter is resolved.”

The service cannot resume until a contract is agreed between the city, Codeta, Route Six Taxi Association and Golden Arrow.

Weekend Argus