The City of Cape Town will, during the course of the next few weeks, steadily withdraw the remainder of the minibus-taxis that have been operating in Atlantis, Table View and Dunoon, as the roll-out of Phase 1 of the MyCiTi service is nearing completion.
Come 31 August 2015 when all of the MyCiTi routes for Phase1 have been rolled out, the City would have compensated up to 337 taxi operators from Table View, Dunoon and Atlantis to the value of nearly R222 million in exchange for their vehicles and operating licences to make way for the MyCiTi bus service.
‘Apart from the compensation, the City is also offering the minibus-taxi operators the opportunity to join Kidrogen – the MyCiTi vehicle operating company (VOC) along the West Coast – as shareholders. Furthermore, we are offering their staff employment within the MyCiTi system, either as MyCiTi bus drivers once they have concluded their driver training for which the City is paying, as part of station management, or within advertising or landscaping,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Coucillor Brett Herron.
Those minibus-taxi operators who receive compensation must surrender their operating licences and vehicles. Furthermore, they are obliged to hand over the names of all of their employees to Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority. TCT officials record these names on the TCT employment register and the MyCiTi vehicle operating companies are then obliged to re-employ people from this register.
‘In fact, at least 75% of the VOC employees must come from this register. We are closely monitoring the progress and I am proud to confirm that, as of March this year, up to 86% of all of the employees at Transpeninsula Investments and 83% of the employees at Kidrogen have been sourced from TCT’s employment register. These figures clearly demonstrate that the City is going to great lengths to ensure the future employment and empowerment of those in the minibus-taxi industry,’ said Councillor Herron.
The remainder of the minibus-taxis affected by Phase 1 of MyCiTi will be withdrawn as follows:
- 16 minibus-taxis will be withdrawn from Atlantis in the second week in July, following the roll-out of the remainder of the MyCiTi feeder routes on 4 July 2015. This will bring the total number of minibus-taxi withdrawals in Atlantis to 149.
- 90 minibus-taxis will be withdrawn from Table View and Dunoon by 31 August 2015, following the roll-out of the remainder of the MyCiTi feeder routes that will link Dunoon to Century City via Omuramba station. This will bring the total number of minibus-taxi withdrawals in Table View and Dunoon to 229.
With the exception of minibus-taxis transporting commuters from Witsand to Atlantis, no other minibus-taxis will be allowed to operate within or on route to Atlantis after 10 July 2015. Engagements are currently underway for the possibility of introducing minibus-taxi services to destinations outside Atlantis that are not being served by MyCiTi as yet, such as Malmesbury, Darling and Bellville. These negotiations, however, have not been concluded as yet.
Furthermore, another 12 minibus-taxi operators from the Ysterplaat Taxi Association who were not offered compensation will be allowed to operate on specific routes until their licence period expires.
‘Even though we are removing 106 taxis from the roads in these areas, it is important to note that residents will still see minibus-taxis driving around as a significant number of taxis will still be providing transport to residents coming from suburbs in the metro-south east such as Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha to Table View and Blaauwberg. It has always been our view that the minibus-taxis should keep on operating on routes where the MyCiTi service is not operational to ensure that our residents are not stranded,’ said Councillor Herron.
Any minibus-taxi operating illegally within these areas, however, will be impounded by law enforcement officials.
‘If there is evidence that confirms that a vehicle belongs to a minibus-taxi operator who has been compensated by the City, Transport for Cape Town will institute a civil claim for the breach of the compensation agreement, which is a binding contract,’ said Councillor Herron.
The negotiations between the City and the taxi operators have been ongoing since 2009 and this is the final chapter in this industry transition process.
‘We are looking forward to welcoming the remainder of the minibus-taxi operators and their employees to the MyCiTi fold. They are a very important part of the City’s endeavour to provide a world-class public transport service to the residents of Cape Town,’ said Councillor Herron.