Poo protests, flood management, and new transport solutions are all part of a good day’s work in the city, say officials.
While the focus on commitment to redress and building a safer city for all is reflected daily, residents in and around central as well as suburban areas say they are feeling the effects of rapid urbanisation. As migrants of all income and cultural groups flog Southward in search of employment and business opportunities, the city is faced with any number of practical challenges, some which prove more daunting than others.
Since 13 August alone the consequences of severe flooding in low lying suburban areas and townships has brought total expenditure to R9 390 000,00 as 39 506 households received assistance in rebuilding housing structures. And although pent up tension over toilet shortages which comes as a direct result of overcrowding has pushed tolerance levels to new heights, the city has not deterred from it focus on service delivery. Not least in its dealings with issues of vandalism, as it disrupts service delivery and impacts heavily on local communities. Staggering costs of delegations of staff repairing infrastructure including traffic lights, cables, portable flush toilets and blocked sewers mostly go unnoticed as protests continue.
Further redress is evident as a total of R1billion expenditure of its overall budget is earmarked in the coming financial year toward informal settlements, with allocations of R292million for electricity provision, R521million for water and sanitation, and R141million for solid waste management.
In addition is major expansion of the city biggest achievement to date of the MyCiTi public transport system as part of its Integrated Rapid Transport Model. Transport solutions, in addition to housing are viewed as main support factors to residents in reaching employment opportunities daily. So far achievements of the MyCiTi project since 2010 include the procurement of 350 new buses, the construction of dozens of modern stations, as well as hundreds of bus-stops. This model has brought universal access and modal integration as well as the introduction of one of the world’s most advanced fare collection systems.
Last week saw the announcement of an extended model that will provide greater efficiency to residents, and managed industry competition to business operators over the long term. After a complex and lengthy negotiation process a 12 year agreement has been signed to support transformation of the city’s public transport system. Different modes of transport will soon be integrated as three Vehicle Operating Companies comprising bus companies and minibus-taxi associations have become eligible to operate Phases 1A and 1B of the MyCiTi bus service. Over time private vehicle operating companies will be able to compete for contracts on a re-tendered basis.
Service delivery in the eyes of residents is communicated through various means. As part of the Well-Run City project, Cape Town measures its performance of satisfactory service delivery levels as one of only a few local municipalities through independent research.
Key findings reflect increasing levels of satisfaction as sustained investment provides improving levels of service delivery.