DA is risk to MyCiti

2015-05-05 06:00

Councillor Brett Herron’s letter (“MyCiTi: More sides of the coin”, People’s Post, 24 March) is once again defensive and misleading.

It was the ANC government who initiated the Bus Rapid Transport system to increase mobility within SA cities.

In regard to the Wynberg/Plumstead section of the Phase 2 MyCiti roll-out, the DA and the City [of Cape Town] only have themselves to blame.

Instead of engaging in dialogue with residents and affected parties, the DA has declared that South Road and Brodie Road Couplet are a “done deal”.

This, despite the fact that there has been no public consultation and no costing of the various proposed routes. Instead, the City has proceeded to demolish vacant houses adjoining South Road to intimidate the 26 families living in council houses in South Road.

This arrogant and destructive path is the clearest indication that the DA is not prepared to consider other proposals.

Called upon to assist, the ANC has tried to persuade Herron and the DA to place a moratorium on all evictions, organise for the mayor to speak directly with residents and to set up an inclusive task team to explore the alternatives. All of these proposals have been ignored.

We have called on government to suspend all further funding to MyCiti until these reasonable requests are met.

I give credit to the National Council of Provinces for doing what Herron and the DA are refusing to do – listening to the community’s concerns.

Herron has used every excuse to refuse to attend a meeting of the Western Cape standing committee on transport and public works.

The good news is that the standing committee has now decided to invite the South Road Families’ Association, Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers, Wynberg Taxi Association and Transport Cape Town to brief the committee on [Tuesday] 12 May. The meeting will proceed with or without Herron.

Further good news is that the national department of transport has started an investigation into the alternative routes raised by the community.

If the truth be told, it is the DA’s lack of transparency and failure to consult that is the biggest risk to the MyCiti project.

Mayco member for transport Brett Herron responds:

The suggestion that the City has been lacking in transparency is laughable.

There cannot be another major infrastructure project in the country that has been presented, interrogated and debated to such an extent, before the concept design is even completed.

If the South Road residents truly wanted to engage on the matter they have had ample opportunity to do so.

Instead, encouraged and assisted by Dugmore, they chose to disrupt a public engagement session held in Constantia last year.

The concept plan is nearing completion and is ready for formal public participation.

The City will be undertaking the public participation process around Phase 2 of the MyCiTi service as from [Tuesday] 21 April.

The proposed Brodie/Main Road couplet will form part of this public participation process in Wynberg. So, this is not a “done deal” – contrary to what Dugmore is propagating.

The South Road road reserve was proclaimed precisely for the reason that the City would need the land in the future for new roads. It does not make sense to expropriate properties along other roads in Wynberg when the City owns properties along South Road.

Dugmore must explain why it would be better for the City to expropriate homes from families along other roads, rather than give notice to tenants who are living in City-owned houses.

Dugmore, however, will not respond to this question as he is very well aware of the fact that the ANC is using this as an opportunity to discredit the DA-led City of Cape Town.

We welcome the interest in Phase 2 of the MyCiTi service and the comments and constructive contributions from the public

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