Cape Town to push for flexible working hours and remote working

 ·16 May 2019

Cape Town wants to work with private businesses in the city to introduce flexible working hours and remote working.

In a draft strategy document that looks at ‘sudden shocks’which may impact the area, the City said that high traffic volumes remain a major issue.

“Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa, and the 48th most congested city in the world,” it said.

“This is due to a historic lack of substantial investment in public transport and, as a result, overreliance on the private car. This means that as the population grows, so does vehicle ownership.

“With 80% of the peak traffic currently made up of private car users, and peak travelling hours in the morning now recognised to be between 06:00 and 10:00, this stress negatively affects productivity,” it said.

Using ‘travel demand management interventions’ it has for its own staff, the City said that it was now in a position to show ‘increased leadership on partnering for alleviating traffic congestion with other employers in Cape Town’.

This will include:

  • Working with partners like the local chamber of commerce, business associations, and large public and private sector employers to create a coalition of change;
  • Developing tools to help employers understand the travel patterns of their employees and to assess the feasibility and acceptability of alternative travel arrangements;
  • Obtaining increased commitments from employers to promote flexi-time work conditions and remote working models for employees, and to promote the use of car-pooling, public transport and non-motorised transport such as cycling.

Cutting down on traffic

This is not the first time the City of Cape Town has called on private businesses to do their part in relieving traffic.

In June 2018, Cape Town said that it planned to invest R481 million over the next three years to cut down on congestion in the city.

The City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, said that the City wanted to improve mobility in Cape Town for all travellers – be it by cycling, car, minibus-taxi, bus or train.

This will include expanding the network of safe sidewalks and cycle lanes with the non-motorised transport funding we receive from National Government, he said.

“For those using private vehicles, we are well aware of the congestion on our roads, the frustration this causes, its impact on our city’s productivity and residents’ quality of life.

“Thus, as far as congestion relief is concerned, the TDA has allocated R481 million over the next three financial years for the construction of new road infrastructure in congestion hotspots around Cape Town.”

“We need residents to work with us by making use of public transport as far as possible, and for private business to implement flexible working hours so that we can divert traffic away from our road network during the peak hour periods,” he said.

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