MyCiTi smoke and mirrors: MEC alleges previous MyCiTi N2 Express contract, which expired in May 2019, was “Invalid”

46 days since the DA allowed MyCiTi services for Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha to stop, the DA resorts to a game of smoke and mirrors instead of resolving the crisis for the 6,000 abandoned commuters. A contract expired and they did not do their work to ensure a new one was in place.

Today in the Provincial Transport and Public Works first Committee meeting, MEC Madikizela has alleged that the 2018/19 MyCiTi contract for the N2 Express service, signed by the current City of Cape Town manager and operating partners which expired in May 2019, was “invalid” because he is told that an updated service level agreement (SLA) was not also simultaneously signed.

I indicated that this is a red herring, since the service to Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain has run, for 5 years, in accordance with a level of service adhered to by all partners. The SLA dictates the standards of MyCiTi service - early and late times of buses at stations and penalties that are due by service providers if the standards are not adhered to.

The real issue is that a new contract was necessary to be prepared and signed prior to the end of May 2019, but was not. This critical service has been allowed to collapse, stranding thousands of commuters who are now forced to spend four to six times more on transport costs.

CODETA, one of the taxi association partners involved in the N2 Express partnership, had previously expressed their desire to run the service as a stand alone vehicle operator as they had been planning for.

They agreed to the 2018 extension, and continued service, on the basis that the city engage and assist CODETA to take steps towards that aim. They agreed that even if the objective could not be achieved in a year they would be open to continuing operations if they saw that the city was engaging with them in a bona fide manner and was working towards creating a new operating model and achieving that aim.

It is not clear that the City honoured its undertaking to engage with a new business model in the last 9 months since my resignation to prepare for a new contract which was needed from 1 June.

Six weeks have passed and no plan is apparent.

With regards to the allegedly irregular or invalid 2018 contract: the contracts would’ve been drafted by service providers to the city and signed by the City Manager or a delegated authority. If the contracts were not properly prepared I expect that the city will take action against the city manager, or whoever signed the contracts on the City’s behalf, and against the lawyers that advised the city and drafted the contract.

ENDS