The eThekwini Municipality is set to pilot 500 vehicles under the Public Transport Service Improvement Incentive Programme.
Through the programme the City is engaging with mini bus taxi operators, who are key providers of public transport in the City, to provide a better service to commuters.
In preparation for the pilot, the City held additional consultations at an association level to revisit some of the assumptions that were made with the original submission and additional factors were identified to ensure the effectiveness and success of the Programme.
The programme, which aims to empower and develop the industry towards a more formal and scheduled service structure, will cost the City R202 million.
The funds will go towards for the Programme set-up and management, Skills Development Programme, vehicles set up, driver induction and training, vehicle decals, marketing and communication, vehicle tracking units, tracker data, incentives for drivers, value added tax and contingency.
According to the City the costs for these activities were not factored into the original submission to Council which is why the budget had to be revised from R131 million.
City Manager Sipho Nzuza has been granted authority on behalf of eThekwini Municipality to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the non-profit organisation (NPO) established under the Economic Development Unit, for the pilot phase of the 500 vehicles under the Programme.
“Authority was further granted for a new NPO to be established for the full roll-out of the programme and for Nzuza to enter a memorandum of agreement with the new NPO as well as it being recorded that the contract will be legally binding between the Municipality and the NPO’s and sets in place the terms and conditions of the agreement and the methodology of the contracting and payment,” the City notes.