The Taxi Recapitalisation program started in 2009. The purpose of the program was to make way for the Bus Service.
By 31 August 2015, upon completion of Phase 1 My Citi routes, The City had 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. Minibus-taxi operators who received compensation had to surrender their operating licences and vehicles. The total number of minibus-taxi withdrawals in Table View and Dunoon is 229.
Apart from the compensation, The City offered taxi owners the opportunity to buy shares in Kidrogen – the My Citi vehicle operating system – and also offered taxi drivers positions as employees in the My Citi bus system.
Furthermore, mini-bus Taxi Operators were obliged to hand over the names of all of their employees to Transport for Cape Town (TCT. TCT officials record these names on the TCT employment register and the My Citi vehicle operating companies were obliged to re-employ people from this register. As of March 2015, 83% of the employees at Kidrogen have been sourced from TCT’s employment register. At a Subcouncil meeting it was stated that it was unfortunate that a number Taxi Operators chose to submit names of family members and friends instead of their employees.
Over the past 2 ½ years, random investigations had been done by residents of Table View, specifically the Blouberg Road corridor.
It was expected that with the Recapitalisation Program and compensation for Mini-bus taxi’s paid to owners that the number of Taxi’s would reduce. Sadly, by the figures below and supporting photographic evidence, it would appear that the opposite has transpired.
Taxis are in fact on the increase on Blouberg Road. The theory is that since the buy-out of the Du Noon Taxi Association, there is no Association “guarding/defending” this route, therefore leaving a “gap” in the market for other Taxi operators to operate on unabated.
According to a Press release by the CoCT, 12 minibus-taxi operators from the Ysterplaat Taxi Association who were not offered compensation, will be allowed to operate on specific routes post 31 August 2015, until their licence period expires (between 2016-2018) Taxi’s coming from Nyanga & Khayelitsha were also still allowed to operate in the area, but these were, and are still very few based on the photographic evidence.
The City says it is concerned about the financial viability of running the My Citi buses and allowing taxis to operate.
“Given demand in the area [Tableview and Dunoon], it is not feasible to have the two services operating alongside one another as this would, in effect, saturate the market. This would limit revenue for both entities to the point where neither is financially capable of operating an efficient and reliable service,” said Herron.
The sad reality is, that whilst 174 Taxi’s race down Blouberg Road, most being overloaded to the point where passengers are standing inside the Taxi, The MyCiti busses go by near-empty.