City contractors to keep transport hubs clean, safe

A clean Bluegum Street bus station in Bonteheuwel.

The City has awarded a contract to three companies to manage public-transport facilities, keeping them clean and safe for commuters.

The service will see to 24/7 security, cleaning services, general maintenance and management at transport hubs, including bus stations and taxi ranks.

Previously, the City only hired contractors to manage such services at MyCiTi bus stations.

Most public-transport interchanges and taxi ranks are City-owned sites. The City leases others, such as Wynberg, Retreat and the CBD’s Station Deck, from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

The new service started on Friday July 2 and it’s expected that all facilities will be covered by Sunday August 1, according to the City.

The contract with Afrotech, Metro Cleaning and Excellerate Security is valid for three years and will cover 103 facilities in total, including 60 public-transport interchanges and minibus-taxi ranks, and 43 MyCiTi stations across Cape Town, according to City spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo.

The services include 24-hour security, along with CCTV surveillance, 24-hour cleaning, general maintenance and landscaping.

Mayor Dan Plato said the City wanted commuters to feel welcome and safe when using public transport.

“Thousands of Capetonians use public transport to get to work and other destinations every day. These public-transport interchanges, minibus-taxi facilities, and MyCiTi stations are beehives of activity, and keeping these spaces clean and safe and well maintained is extremely important,” he said.

“Minibus-taxi commuters, in particular, will benefit greatly from this appointment, as the facilities will be cleaner, safer, well maintained, and managed in a manner that will contribute to the overall commuting experience,” he said.

Mr Tyhalibongo said he could not say how much the service would cost as the contract was rates-based and no retaining fee was applicable.

“We are currently busy with the staff-recruitment process and getting all sites fully operational. Thus, it is not possible to give a cost at this point. However, 80% of the funds will come from the public-transport national grant and 25% from the municipal rates.“

Kaamilah Dawood, of Heideveld, who uses the bus, said better security was needed at bus stations because they were plagued by vagrancy and drug abuse.

“We definitely need 24-hour security because many things go on at the bus stops. It will make commuters feel safer. The bus stop in our road is full of faeces, and people use it to smoke drugs.”

Letitia Whitworth, of Hanover Park, said too many people were robbed at bus stations because of poor lighting and no security, and no one felt safe using a bus or taxi because anyone could board the vehicle and rob the passengers.

“They should carry out what they are saying because people are being robbed because it’s so dark in the morning so the gangsters take advantage of that,” she said.