Ride free to get work

2017-11-07 06:00

A total of 100 000 jobseekers will have free use of MyCiTi buses thanks to a local government initiative.

Officially launched on Tuesday, mayor Patricia de Lille visited the Lentegeur Subcouncil chambers to kick off the pilot project.

It is aimed at unemployed youth registered on the City of Cape Town’s jobseekers’ database by 1 October to help those unemployed people who are actively looking for work.

“Unemployment in South Africa is a huge challenge and Cape Town is not immune to this problem. We may have the lowest unemployment rate in the country – at 19% – but that is still too high,” says De Lille.

“This initiative is aimed at ensuring that transport costs are not a barrier to unemployed residents, many of whom cannot afford to pay for the trip to where job opportunities are. Our aim with this project is to reduce transport costs as an obstacle to finding jobs and build an opportunity city that places its residents first. The City hopes registered jobseekers take full advantage of this opportunity,” she tells People’s Post.

Each card holder gets two free journeys per week. Each journey can start on any weekday between 09:00 and 10:00 or between 14:00 and 15:00.

“Even if your journey ends outside these hours,” she says.

“I want to use this opportunity to urge businesses and potential employers to try to accommodate these jobseekers as the buses they will travel on will be [in off-peak times]. This could mean scheduling interviews for late morning, midday or early afternoon to allow jobseekers using MyCiTi to benefit from the free rides.”

The rides are free on all MyCiTi routes.

“Registered jobseekers may go to their nearest subcouncil office on the MyCiTi footprint. In order to receive a free myconnect card, jobseekers are required to produce their ID and fill in an application form,” De Lille explains.

The project has cost around R6.6m.

“This is a pilot project and the City will monitor the impact. Jobseekers have until 20 November to apply for the free myconnect cards. The free travel package is valid until 30 June 2018 but the card is valid until the expiry date printed on the card.

“The outcome of this pilot project will determine how it can be extended beyond 30 June 2018,” says De Lille.

De Lille says the project is part of a greater initiative to combat unemployment. The council has also approved using R7m for two skills development programmes to train more than 350 young people, she says.


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