Shifting views of major local stakeholders in the implementation of the MyCiTi bus services in Cape Town (2008-2014)
Cape Town’s MyCiTi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service is part of an ambitious plan to integrate various modes of transport and “place at least 75% of Cape Town’s population within 500 meter of the system”. MyCiTi would replace the ubiquitous mini-taxis on most major routes. The scheduled public bus service began in the city in 2010, and has since expanded considerably through the phased roll-out of several new routes, the most recent being one that reaches the Cape Flats. Yet in the early stages, there was considerable opposition from various stakeholders and some of that still continues. This research looks at how key stakeholders shifted their views over the period 2008-2015. Three stakeholder groups and their interactive dynamics in the context of ongoing uncertainty about the system are explored in this mini-thesis. The findings show that despite much pre-planning, the MyCiTi project has been negotiated and re-negotiated as the City embarked on a voyage into uncharted territory. The transformation of sections of the taxi industry from the informal sector to the formal sector has been presented as a big challenge but has also been seen as its biggest phase one success so far. Yet, in 2015, the city blamed at least half of its revenue shortfall on having to compete with the minibus taxi industry, which it failed to “contain” as planned. The mini-thesis shows that mega-public-private projects are messy at best and that without effective monitoring, public support and consultation the best laid plans and policies can fail. More research is needed into the complexities of public private partnerships and the City needs to take such knowledge into the next phases.