ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 February 2016

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DECISIONS

City to Increase Bus Fare Tariffs

The bus fare of Durban Transport buses will increase by 9 percent from 1 April 2016. This was approved by the Executive Committee today, 23 February 2016.

This decision was taken in light of the City not implementing any fee increases last year.

A report before the Executive Committee outlined the reasons for the increase and how the figure of 9 percent was reached.

The report stated that while issues of fare increases were sensitive, it was essential to cover the operating costs of the bus service operator to ensure they are able to maintain the current service levels under increasing costs.

It further stated that the recommended fare increase has been kept to a minimum to avoid a detrimental effect on commuters while at the same time allow the operator to recover the operating costs.

While the report recommended that the fee increases be implemented by 1 March 2016, the Executive Committee decided that it should be implemented a month later, 1 April 2016, to adequately inform residents of the increase.

A contract between the City and bus operator Tansnat, signed in 2009, allows for an annual bus fare increase with a minimum of the escalation for that particular year.

To reach the current fee increase figure, the EThekwini Transport Authority commissioned an independent assessment of the actual cost increase in fuel, labour and other operating costs. Transport Economic Support Services conducted the assessment and recommended the fare increase percentage. 

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole said a fee increase was not implemented in the past year although it was provided for in the contract that every year there will be a reasonable increase. He said this increase was similar to other increases implemented for services offered by the Municipality.

Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said taking the decision to increase the bus fare was not easy. She said it was important to explain to commuters why this increase has to come into place.

Deputy City Manager of Finance Krish Kumar said the increase was a cost effective tariff. He said the increase of 9 percent was being implemented over two years as there was no increase last year.

“Inflation last year was around 5 percent and this year is around 6 percent. So it is 11 percent for the past two years, the 9 percent is under inflation and is a reasonable request,” he said.

CITY TO TRAIN 140 STUDENTS IN CONSTRUCTION COURSES

EThekwini Municipality has been granted R5 million by the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) to implement the construction learnership programme.

The City has been given the approval to train 70 students for a National Certificate: Supervision-Construction Processes and a further 70 students for a National Certificate: Construction Health and Safety.

This comes after the City expressed the need to provide formal career path opportunities that are NQF compliant to skill youth for job opportunities. 

The learnership will run for 12 months comprising of both theory and four months practical on-site learning. On completion of the programme, learners will receive a NQF level 4 certificate. 

The training venues will be in Isiphingo and Pinetown Central Business District.

APPROVAL OF ELECTION POSTERS TO BE HUNG IN ETHEKWINI

The Executive Committee approved a report calling for the waiving of restrictive advertising by-laws in the City in the run up to the national local government elections.

Some of the recommendations approved include:

•The number of posters be restricted to 800 per party, per ward. Only two posters back to back can be hung per party, per pole;

•The current prescribed tariffs be waived, instead applications will be accompanied by a deposit of R200 for every ward where posters will be placed;

•That election/registration posters only be permitted on Council electricity poles and not on directional signs and traffic lights. This also applied to the City Centre. The poster shall not be erected at a height less than 2.5 metres from the underside of the poster to the ground. Posters cannot be displayed on walls, trees, bridges with all posters displayed on electricity poles;

•Ruth First (M4 north bound), Inkosi Albert Luthuli freeway (southern) and Higginson Highway are open to outdoor advertising only three weeks before elections. Only flying banners are permitted;

•The beachfront is also open to outdoor advertising three weeks before elections as well as the use of wall murals for election purposes;

•Only standard A1 size posters are permitted.

All applications will still be done via the general advertising branch of the Development Planning, Management and Environment Unit to ensure compliance with other aspects of Municipal by-laws. This approval is limited to the 2016 Local Government Elections only. After the election period, failure to remove posters will result in the Municipality removing and recovering any costs incurred from the political party concerned at the rate of R50 per poster.

ENDS 

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za

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