Cape Town rolls out transport subsidy for job-seekers

New modern city bus - Stock image
New modern city bus - Stock image

Ebrahim January is a 22-year-old bricklayer from Mitchells Plain.

 The nature of his trade means he often has to travel around the city‚ job-hunting at different construction sites. But from Tuesday‚ finding a job will be easier.

 He will be among 10‚ 000 job-seekers who will get free rides on the City of Cape Town’s MyCiTi buses.

 On Tuesday‚ Mayor Patricia De Lille launched the project by travelling with a handful of job-seekers between Mitchells Plain and the Civic Centre MyCiTi station.

De Lille’s government will pay R6‚6-million to subsidise the trips.

 “Unemployment in South Africa is a huge challenge‚ and Cape Town is not immune to this problem. We may have the lowest unemployment rate in the country‚ at 19%‚ but that is still too high‚” De Lille said in a speech to the job-seekers.

De Lille said the city was providing the job-seekers with free myconnect card‚ good for two free journeys every week.

“As this caring city‚ we recognise our role in ensuring that disadvantaged residents have opportunities and are not pushed further into poverty‚” said De Lille.

De Lille first unveiled the plan for the free rides in May this year during the tabling of the city’s draft budget.

“Many people are giving up looking for work‚ because travel costs are a barrier. We want to implement this initiative to take away that obstacle of travel costs‚ which sometimes prevents people from being able to access job opportunities‚” De Lille said at the time.

January said the free rides would help him to attend training courses.

“It is a big deal – this is a great relief because I don’t give anything in return. I just need to be available. I am going to use the service to go for my training‚” he said.


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