City of Cape Town to appeal court ruling against bus route

Tammy Petersen, News24

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town on Monday applied for leave to appeal the judgment and order that stops it from evicting residents and demolishing homes in South Road to make way for the Wynberg MyCiTi route.

The City considers the judgment - handed down by acting Judge AJ Weinkove in the Western Cape High Court two weeks ago - unclear, leaving the council "with no choice but to appeal it", said mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron in a statement.

"In our view, the court has ordered us to do what we have already done," he said.

"Had the judgment given a clear indication or direction as to how the city's extensive public consultation process was lacking and what would be required in order to remedy this, we would no doubt have followed those instructions and would not be appealing."

Weinkove ruled that the tenants had not been adequately consulted over expanding the bus service in the area.

A total of 26 families leasing their homes from the City would have been affected had the plan for the route gone ahead.

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.

The City insists that there had been 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.

This process had started in October 2014, and 30 open days had also been held within the affected communities, Herron said.

"Furthermore, we are of the opinion that the said dispute deals with the nature of the obligations imposed by the Constitution and the Local Government Municipal Systems Act on the city in facilitating public participation, and whether the city has met those obligations."

He said it was necessary to identify the scope of these obligations and how they should be properly executed.

"This dispute therefore involves a question of law that is of sufficient importance to warrant a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal."

He said the application for leave to appeal was filed with the registrar of the court on Monday and would be argued on a date allocated by the registrar.