NO. 579 / 2012
12 JULY 2012
Note to editors: The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Councillor Brett Herron’s presentation was entitled: ‘The impact of the devolution of rail planning, bus subsidy contracts, and public transport licensing on Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) implementation in Cape Town – progress and prospects’.
Not unlike other Southern African cities, Cape Town grapples – on many fronts – with the legacy of Apartheid spatial planning: our legacy is a sprawling city with low densities and poorer communities located on the outskirts of the city, far removed from economic opportunities and excluded from many of the city’s key social amenities.
Our city is inefficient and unsustainable by design, with historical land use decisions exacerbating these inefficiencies. Our residents, particularly poorer communities, are thus burdened with long travelling distances, high travelling costs, and often inconvenient public transport services with sub-standard infrastructure.
From the perspective of the City’s leadership – its new administration elected last year – the implementation of the IRPTN in Cape Town, and the devolution of rail planning, bus subsidy contracts and public transport licensing is not the end in itself, but presents the first real opportunity for us to radically transform public transport in our city and employ public transport as a catalyst for undoing the Apartheid legacy and eventually changing the way the city moves, works, plans and plays.
The devolution of these functions to the City of Cape Town, which we anticipate concluding during the course of next year, presents us with the chance to finally plan and implement a fully integrated public transport network that is commuter-focused.
Our starting point will be that the City of Cape Town is the Transport Authority (TA). We are in the process of putting the TA in place in anticipation of the devolution of these functions next year.
The City of Cape Town as TA will manage the operations and infrastructure of a multi-modal public transport network in a way that is sustainable, efficient and sensible – ensuring integration and inter-operability for the benefit of our commuters.
In time to come, and with devolution and the TA in place, we will see:
- One public transport network.
- One ticket.
- One timetable.
- One unified, dignified standard for infrastructure and operations.
- One brand.
We expect that our residents will experience:
- A seamless, reliable, comprehensive and sensible public transport service and
- Infrastructure that is well-maintained and of a unified standard.
We have done a lot of work in preparation for the devolution of the subsidised bus contracts function, as well as the licensing function, and we will commence the formal processes to request the assignment of these functions within the coming weeks.
We are about to appoint consultants to conduct a due diligence investigation of Metrorail as well as a transaction advisor to assist us with the devolution of the rail subsidy, planning, and contracting function in due course.
Clearly, for us, the devolution of the functions under discussion is a sine qua non for a fully functional and effective TA and ultimately the integrated, multi-modal, decent public transport network and service.
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT, CITY OF CAPE TOWN
COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON
MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT, ROADS AND STORMWATER
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 1298 CELL: 082 518 3264, E-MAIL: BRETT.HERRON@CAPETOWN.GOV.ZA