The decision by the Western Cape High Court to effectively halt the plans for the Wynberg MyCiTi route was hailed by the ANC on Tuesday.
Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said in a statement that the ruling, which was handed down on Monday and stops the City of Cape Town from evicting residents and demolishing homes in South Road, showed council’s “dismissiveness and disdain of this one important pillar of democracy – public consultation”.
A total of 26 families leasing their homes from the City would have been affected had the plan for the route gone ahead.
“The court found that the families hadn’t been adequately consulted over expanding the bus service in the area. It did not have to take the courts to impress something so commonsensical to the DA,” Jacobs said.
According to the ruling, a public participation process to discuss alternatives needed to be conducted should the City plan to go ahead with the route.
“At some point, the DA has to take public consultation and participation seriously otherwise they are compromising the very founding principles of our democracy,” he said.
But, according to mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron, a comprehensive public participation process about the conceptual design of Phase 2A, which included the selection of routes and the alignment of roads to be used, had been taken.
“This process commenced in October 2014 already. We have met with residential and commercial groups, community leaders, ward councillors and subcouncils,” he said.
“Furthermore, we hosted a series of 30 open days within communities in various wards between May and July 2015, where residents engaged with City officials about the conceptual design of Phase 2A, offered their input and made submissions.”
Herron continued that the applicants participated in several of these public open days.
“We have also stated in court that neither the public participation process nor the final design and route selection for Phase 2A is complete,” he said.
“On June 4, the City withdrew the termination notices that were sent to the applicants who have existing lease agreements with the City.
“New termination notices will be issued only once the public participation process is complete and if it is decided to widen and use South Road for Phase 2A of the MyCiTi service.”
The City had yet to commence with the implementation of this phase and had not yet started with the construction of roads, nor with the development of transport infrastructure.
Herron said the City would comment on the judgment once it was in writing and had been studied. News24