Study tour of a delegation from Ivory Coast in Cape Town, South Africa


CODATU News Thursday 21 July 2022

In the context of a technical cooperation between the Authority for Urban Mobility in the Great Abidjan (AMUGA), the French development Agency and CODATU, a delegation from AMUGA came to Cape Town from 4 to 8 July, along with a representative from the Ministry of Transport, the coordinator of one of the BRT projects of Abidjan and two representatives of the paratransit industry.

The aim of the study was to get feedback regarding the planning of a mass-transit project and contracting with operators, the evolution of the urban transport governance, and the regulation of the paratransit industry.

Lessons can indeed be drawn from Cape Town, where a BRT project called MyCiti has been implemented, and included the integration of some of the paratransit operators. These specific features echo some of the challenges faced by the delegation in the context of the implementation of several mass-transit projects in Abidjan (1 metro and 2 BRT lines).

Visit of Station Deck, a minibus-taxi station in Cape Town

During the study tour, the delegation had the opportunity to meet up with the Urban Mobility Directorate from the City of Cape Town, the main bus operator Golden Arrow Bus Service as well as the representative of Route 6, one of the minibus-taxi associations in Cape Town. The study tour also enabled the delegation to get a global understanding on urban mobility in Cape Town thanks to the feedback of experts such as Gerard Hitge, Gershwin Fortune and Prof. Roger Behrens.

All along the week, the delegation benefitted from the knowledge and expertise of Herrie Schalekamp, technical expert for CODATU during the study tour, and Nico MacLachlan, co-founder of Organization Development Africa (ODA) and facilitator during the negotiations with the minibus-taxi industry in MyCiti project Phase 1.

Mass-transit project planning and contracting with operators, “Don’t start with the technology”

Following a visit of the BRT network from Civic Centre to Big Bay on Monday 4 July, the delegation joined Nico MacLachlan for a meeting on Tuesday 5 July. During the presentation, Nico MacLachlan came back on the different phases of implementation of the BRT in Cape Town, focusing on the role and mandates of the local transport authority, the different contracting options, and the catalytic role of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to launch MyCiti.

Presentation from Nico MacLachlan

This presentation was complemented on Wednesday 6 July by meetings with Gerard Hitge and Gershwin Fortune. Gerard Hitge came back on the necessity to coordinate urban planning and mobility planning, more specifically thanks to the Transit Oriented Development approach. Gershwin Fortune raised awareness on the evolution of the local transport authority mandates and internal organization when implementing a mass-transit project, from its design until its delivery.

These various presentations enabled to clarify the capacities and mandates expected from a local transport authority to develop a strategic vision, coordinate mass-transit projects aimed for city dwellers, and build strong connections with the local transport operators.

Operations of the public transport system in Cape Town

In addition to the feedback on the implementation of the MyCiti project, the delegation also met up with François Meyer, CEO of the main bus operating company in Cape Town, Golden Arrow Bus Service. Mr. Meyer introduced the different contracting options existing in the context of GABS and MyCiti, and also gave feedback on the evolution of the relationship with the minibus-taxi industry in the context of the Vehicle Operating Companies created to operate MyCiti in Cape Town. Eventually, Mr. Meyer shared Golden Arrow’s innovative strategy to develop a bus electric fleet in Cape Town. The delegation enjoyed a visit of the Arrowgate depot (equipped with solar panels) as well as a tour with one of the Golden Arrow electric buses.

Visit of the Golden Arrow depot with François Meyer, CEO of Golden Arrow Bus Service

The team of the Urban Mobility Directorate of the City of Cape Town also welcomed the delegation. The meeting gave more opportunities to gain feedback on the main key takeaways drawn from the Phase 1 of MyCiti implementation (evolution of the governance, contracting with operators, fare system, integration of the minibus-taxi industry). The team also presented the current strategic vision regarding urban mobility in Cape Town, and some of the innovations to be developed in MyCiti Phase 2 which is currently being planned and implemented. The visit of the control room for traffic management enabled the delegation to understand the diversity of challenges faced and the means available for the City of Cape Town to regulate the different networks on a daily basis.

Meeting with the Urban Mobility Directorate team at the Transport Management Centre from the City of Cape Town

Regulation and integration of the minibus-taxi industry

The presentation made by the Urban Mobility Directorate team provided the delegation with an overview of the strategies regarding the integration of the paratransit industry by the City of Cape Town, including in the MyCiti Phase 2. The modalities and specificities of the integration implemented in the current phases were discussed in-depth during a visit organized by Nico MacLachlan in Mitchell’s Plain Public Transport Interchange, where the delegation met up with Mr. Henry Hawk Williams, president of route 6 taxi association and chairman for Santaco. During the discussion, Mr. Williams explained how the negotiation process with local authorities took place, and what is the current role of the minibus-taxi industry in the operations of MyCiti in Cape Town. Herrie Schalekamp completed this discussion by presenting in detail the training program created to professionalize operators from the minibus-taxi industry in MyCiti Phase 1.

Visit of Mitchell’s Plain Public Transport Interchange with Mr. Williams (Route 6 taxi association)

Eventually, at the end of the week, a smaller group met up with Professor Roger Behrens from Cape Town University and Director of the Center for Transport Studies, in order to get insights on the research led by this transdisciplinary center, and the crucial role of academia and researchers to provide critical feedback and analysis to local authorities in the context of massive urban projects such as BRTs.

Working session with Prof. Roger Behrens

This week in Cape Town enriched the delegation with many thoughts, insightful feedback and knowledge from the South African experience, which will enable AMUGA to start the elaboration of a roadmap on the paratransit integration in Abidjan.

Partenaires associés

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD) agit depuis soixante-dix ans pour lutter contre la pauvreté et favoriser le développement dans les pays du Sud et dans l’Outre-mer. Au moyen de subventions, de prêts, de fonds de garantie ou de contrats de désendettement et de développement, elle finance des projets, des programmes et des études et accompagne ses partenaires du Sud dans le renforcement de leurs capacités.

Les transports constituent un secteur d’intervention traditionnel de l’AFD. Sur la période 2001-2005, l’Agence a mobilisé environ 164 M€ par an en moyenne pour la mise en œuvre de projets dans le secteur des transports (en incluant les projets de développement rural et urbain comportant des activités de transport).


ODA is a management and development consultancy specializing in

  • Strategy
    and Organisational Development Advice
  • Institutional, Spatial and Socio-economic change processes

Established in 1999, ODA combines the skills, networks, and knowledge capital of some of Southern Africa’s leading practitioners in the fields of business strategy, institution building, organization development, applied economic development research and urban sector reform.

The company has extensive experience in both private and public sector environments and in working at the public –private interface. Over the last decade we have successfully applied our craft in the following sectors:

  • Passenger Transport
  • Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Management
  • Tourism
  • Forestry and Timber processing
  • Energy
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  • Public:
    • Education
    • Trade and Industry
    • Public Enterprises and Entities
    • Health
  • Local Government:
    • Metropolitan and Secondary Cities
    • Districts
    • Local Authorities

Over the past decade, ODA has been a leading role player in various aspects of the public sector, local government and urban sector reforms that followed on the democratization of South Africa. ODA is one of South Africa’s leading advisors in local government affairs and brings a unique value offer in respect of urban integration challenges.

ODA operates predominantly in the sub-Saharan region. The ODA Head Office is situated in Cape Town, South Africa, and our Gauteng Projects Office is situated in the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) South Africa.

Our current business operations focus on:

ODA value offer:

We pride ourselves in offering a unique combination of strategic insight with sound home grown methodologies that have been tested and proven to deliver results in a variety of applications. As a result we provide customised solutions through a work style that is action focused, highly consultative and participative.
We respect the rich context -specific contributions of leadership, stakeholders and fellow professionals in the organisations we engage.
We aim to convey a learning experience to our clients through our philosophy of working with our clients as opposed to working for our clients.
We pride ourselves in the rendering of objective and independent advice that supersedes internal pressures and external interference.