The City of Cape Town regrets to inform MyCiTi commuters that the N2 Express Company shareholders have failed to meet the deadline for the service to be reinstated on 28 September 2019. Given that the City now has to proceed with a supply chain management process to appoint an interim service provider, the N2 Express service will only start operating by December 2019, if all goes as planned.

The City will, on Saturday 28 September 2019, advertise a request for quotation (RFQ) calling on vehicle operating companies to submit bids for operating the N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and the Cape Town central business district (CBD) on an interim basis.

The interim service provider will operate the four N2 Express routes until such time as the City has appointed a permanent vehicle operating company to provide the N2 Express service for a five year period.

I’m terribly disappointed that the shareholders of the N2 Express Company – namely CODETA, Route 6 Taxi Association, and the Golden Arrow Bus Service – failed to reach an internal agreement on the way forward.

GABS and Route 6 Taxi Association have confirmed in a letter to the City that they are willing to resume the service. However, CODETA is insisting on a new arrangement at all costs.

The City cannot wait any longer for the shareholders to set aside their internal disagreements. Neither do we have the mandate to intervene in matters that are for the shareholders to resolve.

Approximately 3 000 commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha relied on the N2 Express buses to travel to and from the Cape Town CBD. The commuters’ travelling costs have increased dramatically since the service was temporarily terminated on 31 May 2019.

Given the unreliability of the Metrorail service, and in particular that of the Central line, many of the commuters are now travelling by minibus-taxi which is more expensive than the train or bus services.

The MyCiTi bus service is more affordable for commuters when they travel before or after the peak-hour periods. Every rand saved makes a huge difference to low-income households who spend up to 43% of their monthly income on transport. It is of utmost importance that we get the N2 Express buses back on the road as soon as possible.

Going forward:
the RFQ for an interim service provider will be advertised on Saturday, 28 September 2019;
if all goes as planned, the interim service provider will be appointed by the end of November 2019, which will see the N2 Express service operating again by December 2019;
and in the meantime, the City will also commence with a procurement process to secure the services of a vehicle operating company to operate the N2 Express service for a five year period.

We have left no stone unturned to conclude a new agreement with the N2 Express Company:
the City has, over the past three months or so, hosted a number of engagements with the shareholders in an effort to resolve the matter;
on 27 August 2019, we notified the N2 Express Company shareholders that 28 September 2019 is the deadline for the N2 Express service to be reinstated;
unfortunately, the shareholders failed to meet the City’s deadline to submit an internal agreement that would see the service operating again;
and on 19 September 2019 the National Department of Transport hosted an urgent meeting with the shareholders which also failed to yield a positive outcome.

We now have no choice but to pursue the alternative options as explained above.