I am delighted to announce this afternoon that we have reached a critical milestone in getting the MyCiTi N2 Express Service back on the road, hopefully by January 2022.

This is a major achievement that will benefit thousands of commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha who are travelling to the Cape Town CBD for work and other opportunities.

In August this year, I made the commitment that the City will do everything possible to return the service to commuters from the metro-south east. Following months of hard work by officials from the City of Cape Town’s Urban Mobility Directorate (formerly known as the Transport Directorate), all is set to deliver on this promise.

The City is about to enter into a new operating contract with the N2 Company equally owned by Lisekhonikamva, Mitchells Plain Rapid Transit and Golden Arrow Bus Services. I trust that the final discussions with the N2 Company will yield a positive outcome in the interest of commuters who are desperate for safe, affordable and reliable public transport.

This afternoon at its last meeting for the year, the City’s Council unanimously approved the Directorate’s request to grant the N2 Company the right to use and manage the 34 City-owned buses to provide the N2 Express Service.

Next, is for the City and the N2 Company to sign the operating contract.

Once the contract has been signed by all parties, the fleet of 34 buses – a combination of 12-metre low-floor buses and 18-metre low-floor buses – will be serviced and prepared for operations, and bus drivers recruited and trained.

In the meantime, the Urban Mobility Directorate is assessing all of the bus shelters along the four routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha for urgent maintenance and repairs. Sadly, many of the shelters have been vandalised or stripped by thieves during the time that the service was suspended. We are working around the clock to get these repaired.

The signing of the operating contract, and the progress with the recruitment of bus drivers, and servicing of the fleet will determine the date on which the N2 Express Service is to commence.

The City is doing all it can to conclude the processes that are within our control.

If all goes as planned, the wheels will be rolling in January 2022. I will make a public announcement when we have certainty about the starting date.

The N2 Express Service was first introduced on 5 July 2014 and was unfortunately suspended on 31 May 2019, due to contractual issues.

Once operational, the N2 Express Service will again operate along four MyCiTi routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha:

  • D01 between Khayelitsha East and the Civic Centre
  • D02 between Khayelitsha West and the Civic Centre
  • D03 between Mitchells Plain East and the Civic Centre; and
  • D04 between Kapteinsklip, the Mitchells Plain Town Centre and the Civic Centre

The buses will travel to the Civic Centre station in the Cape Town CBD via the N2 freeway.

Given the implosion of passenger rail commuters from the metro-south east need reliable public transport services now more than ever. The N2 Express Service will provide commuters with an alternative. In fact, before the service was suspended up to 6 000 passengers used it on a daily basis which underscores the demand and popularity of the service.