While the City of Cape Town is celebrating the granting of MyCiTi bus operating licences forSalt River and Walmer Estate, taxi bosses were applying for an interdict to stop the busses from operating.

The Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) were today requesting the High Court to halt Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) from granting further operating licenses.

CATA general secretary Nqazeleni Mataytayi said they had given instructions to their legal team as they were under the impression that MyCiTi operating licences would not be granted following CATA’s lodging of objections during the public participation process.

Initially the City had applied for the operating licences August last year with the intention of implement the further roll out of MyCiTi Phase 1A bus services in Salt River and Walmer Estate in December last year.

The planned Deember 2012 implementation was delayed due to objections by frustrated taxi bosses who felt the public transport service would put them out of business.

Further hearings on the granting of operating licences were conducted from December until the beginning of March were held, with the PRE overruling the objections and granting the City the requested operating licence, said Transport MEC Robin Carlisle.

“As far as the taxi objections are concerned, they were overruled. Buses are now operating,” said Carlisle.

However, he said the taxi bosses were within their rights to appeal to the courts.

But he said there was no reason why the operating licenses should not be issued as the PRE operated within the necessary guidelines.

City’s media manager Kylie Hatton announced their success in getting the operating licences on Sunday after thePRE successfully granted the City’s Vehicle Operating Companies (VOC’s) their licences on Saturday morning (subs: March 2).

To celebrate the implementation of the Salt River and Walmer Estate bus route the City took media on a tour of the newly launched route on Monday.

The newly implemented route will see MyCiTi buses traveling past Salt River rail station; past the Salt River Circle, along Roodebloem Road, through Zonnebloem and past the Cape Peninsula University of Technology before proceeding to the Castle, the Grand Parade and then central rail station en route to the Civic Centre station, where it will link up with the existing MyCiTi routes.

Golden Arrow Bus service spokesperson Bronwen Dyke said the bus company did not oppose the City’s application for operating MyCiTi in the Salt River, Walmer Estate routes but had objected “to the fact that the MyCiTi had at the same time applied for operating licences along other routes where no official contracts had been issued”.

Dyke did not say which routes these were.

Meanwhile Matayitayi said they legal team will also approach the high court to institute an investigation around the implementation of MyCiTi bus service in Phase1A claiming that there has been “a lot of irregularities”.

He said taxi bosses had held talks with Carlisle around the issue.

The irregularities involved lack of wider consultation in the affected parties, he said.

“I think it was a mistake long before I came on the scene, and before Herron came to the scene. It was a mistake to only consult with only those associations that were affected, I believe the City should have consulted widely with everyone, everybody, all those other players should have been consulted,” said Carlisle.

Source: West Coast News — Peter Luhanga