Some MyCiTi bus station workers are on the brink of losing their jobs after a new company is to take over management of the stations having been awarded the Station Management tender by the City of Cape Town in October last year.
A joint venture formed by Arcus Facilities Management Solutions, Metro Cleaning and Enforce Securities (AME) was successfully awarded the tender worth R675m to run for six years.
In line with the contract between the City and AME, 60% of the employees will have to be drawn from the impacted taxi industry, said Mayco for Transport Roads and Stormwater Brett Herron.
Currently about 214 people work on the MyCiTi bus stations employed by MyCiTi bus Vehicle Operating Companies (VOC’s)—companies formed by taxi associations affected by the implementation of MyCiTi bus service in Phase 1A to co-run the service on contractual basis with the City.
Now the VOC’s legal team has been rocked up in negotiations with AME focussing on whether Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) which dealt with the transfer of a contract of employment applied in this case.
The City was aware of the discussions between the VOC’s legal advisors and the Station
Management Contractor (AME), said Herron.
“These discussions are focussed on whether Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act applies. This section of the LRA deals with the transfer of a contract of employment – as part of an ongoing concern,” he said.
A supervisor working for VOC Kidrogen at one of the MyCiTi bus stations on the West Coast who preferred not to be named for fear of reprisals, said she supervised 60 workers at the station who all have expressed fears of losing their jobs since the new company announced that it was required to employ 60% of workers from the affected taxi industry.
The 60-year-old mother of two adult children said most workers had purchased cars and some borrowed money from the bank and bought houses and wondered how they would repay the loans when the new company won’t renew their contracts.
Additionally, the City was implementing a new electronic system that will see ticket validators losing their jobs as passengers would be required to tap a MyCiTi electronic card on a mounted electronic gate and get the fair deducted and a boom gate opened leading them to board the bus, she said.
It was a job of a ticket validator who held an electronic device which deducted the fair from a MyCiTi card.
Another source said AME had under quoted the City to run a tender for six years for R675m and would not be able to maintain paying the same salaries VOC’s were able to pay station management workers.
In a month a ticket validator earned R5700, while a supervisor earned R7860 and a manager took home R10 000.
Herron said the City was monitoring the negotiations between the VOC’s legal advisors and the Station Management Contractor.
“We (the City) will make sure that (the Contractor) adhere to the contract requirements (to employ 60% people drawn from the affected taxi industry),” he said.
Repeated efforts to get a Comment from AME were unsuccessful as the person mandated to speak to the press Felicity Bell was rocked up meetings.—Peter Luhanga