Passengers stranded as MyCiTi service remains suspended

South Africa - Cape Town - 03 June 2019 - Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain are not getting the bus service from MyCiti bus service. This was caused by the contractual problems between the City of Cape Town and SANTACO. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

MyCiTi bus commuters who use the Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain route to town have been forced to seek alternative means of transportation since the contract to operate the N2 Express Service ended on Friday May 31.

For the last week or so, there have been long lines of commuters at various taxi ranks and bus stops in Khayelitsha, with commuters having to arrive very early to ensure they get to their destinations on time.

In a statement issued to the media, the City of Cape Town said they were doing their best to resolve the impasse which had led to the temporary suspension of the N2 Express service.

Stakeholders, however, would not comment on the nature of the disagreement, or what had caused it.

And it still remains unclear when will the bus service will be operational again.

The Cape Organisation for the Democtratic Taxi Association (CODETA) is part of a joint venture with the City to operate the N2 Express Service.

Mayoral committee member for Transport, Felicity Purchase, said they were very concerned about the impact the suspended service was having on MyCiTi commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

‘Ms Purchase said they wanted to get the N2 Express buses back on the road as soon as possible.

However, she said, they needed to follow due process and must do so in a manner that provided a long-term solution. “According to our records, 154 passengers from Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha have bought monthly packages in advance,” she said and advised these commuters to visit the Zone 3 kiosk at the Civic MyCiTi station in Cape Town where they could apply for a refund, which they would receive immediately and in cash.

Refunds will be paid out at the Civic Centre station, between 6am and 9.45pm until Friday June 21.

“Unfortunately, we cannot refund commuters at the MyCiTi kiosks in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain due to threats to our MyCiTi personnel, and for security reasons,” she said.

MyCiTi commuter, Nokuzola Ntethe, said she was extremely upset that MyCiTi bus had been suspended and that getting up early to beat the queues at the taxi rank put her life at risk because she had to leave home in the dark. And, said the mother of three who works in Sea Point, taking a Golden Arrow bus was not an option because she would have to take another bus once she arrived in the city centre.

“I’m now spending R200 a week. If you add that up, it gives you a R800 a month just for transport. I work in a restaurant. I don’t earn that much yet I’m spend almost half my wages on transport. I just hope this could be resolved soon before we find ourselves crawling to loan sharks,” she said.

When Vukani contacted Codeta, they declined to comment and referred us to City of Cape Town.