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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON

Economic growth, coupled with job creation, is vital for building sustainable cities. As much as it is our responsibility to ensure that we create an enabling environment that attracts investment and skills, we also want to broaden access to these opportunities to those residents who are currently excluded from the labour market but who are desperate to earn a decent living.

A few months ago we announced our intention to commence an initiative that would make job opportunities more accessible to those who are currently unemployed. We have done a lot of work and preparations over the past five months or so in making this possible.

Today I am pleased to announce that as from Tuesday next week – that is 31 October 2017 – the City will be offering registered job seekers free MyCiTi bus rides to support them in their efforts to find employment.

Many people are giving up looking for work because it is too expensive for them to travel between their homes and other locations where they may apply for a job opportunity. Thus the initiative to offer free MyCiTi rides for registered job seekers is aimed at removing one of the main obstacles to carving a way out of poverty.

When Council adopted the City’s budget for the 2017/18 financial year, we made provision for up to R6,6 million to subsidise free MyCiTi bus rides for registered job seekers in Cape Town.

In keeping with this promise, we will provide a free myconnect card and two free journeys on the MyCiTi bus every week to support job seekers in their efforts to find employment.

This commitment underscores the key priorities in our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which is aimed at enhancing service delivery, broadening opportunities, and striving for inclusive growth.

Unemployed residents qualify if they are already registered on the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme job seekers’ database. The concession applies to those job seekers who are registered at Subcouncils 1, 3, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 23 or 24. These subcouncils fall in the MyCiTi footprint and are served by MyCiTi routes.

Job seekers who qualify will receive a free myconnect card, worth R35, loaded with a special travel package. This will allow two free one-way journeys every week on any MyCiTi route. This includes changing from one bus or route to another to reach a destination.

Travel can take place on any week day starting between 09:00 and 10:00 or between 14:00 and 15:00. The journey can end outside of these times, but job seekers must ensure that they start their journey within these time periods.

Job seekers can make use of their free bus rides with immediate effect. Once a job seeker has received their myconnect card with the special travel package loaded on the card, they can board any MyCiTi bus to reach their destination to apply for a job opportunity.

I also want to remind those who qualify for the concession to get to know the MyCiTi system, the time schedules, and routes. It is important to know how to tap in and out at the stations and on the bus with the myconnect card as commuters can get penalties on their free myconnect cards for failing to do so.

There will be 100 000 cards available between 31 October and 20 November 2017, or until all of the myconnect cards have been issued to registered job seekers.

Importantly, this initiative is our first pilot project which we will monitor until 30 June 2018. We will use the outcome of this pilot to monitor the impact and uptake and to see whether and how we can extend the concession thereafter.

Applicants must apply at the subcouncil office where they are registered on the job seekers’ database by presenting their identity document and completing an application form.

I am urging businesses and potential employers to please try to schedule interviews for the late morning, midday or early afternoon to allow job seekers using the MyCiTi service to benefit from this programme.

Job seekers registered at the following subcouncils qualify for the free MyCiTi rides:

Subcouncil Venue for free cards
1 Subcouncil 1 office, corner of Grosvenor and Hermes Avenue, Saxonsea, Atlantis
3 Summer Greens Community Hall, Tinkers Road, Summer Greens
9 Subcouncil 9 office, Site B, Khayelitsha Shopping Centre
10 Khayelitsha Training Centre, corner of Lwandle and Phendula Crescent, Khayelitsha
12 Lentegeur Administrative Office, corner of Melkbos and Merrydale Roads, Lentegeur
15 Brooklyn Library, Koeberg Road, Brooklyn
16 11th Floor, 44 Wale Street, Cape Town
Roads Depot, 17 Main Road, Hout Bay
Hangberg Sports and Recreation Centre, Karbonkel Road, Hangberg, Hout Bay
23 Lentegeur Administrative Office, corner of Melkbos and Merrydale Roads, Lentegeur
24 Kuyasa Library, Walter Sisulu Road, Mandela Park, Khayelitsha

Job seekers needing more information or assistance can call the Transport Information Centre (TIC) on 0800 65 64 63. The TIC is available 24/7 and agents can assist callers in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.

I am very excited about this initiative as I believe it will make a huge difference to those who are desperate to find a job.

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