Integrating hard and soft infrastructure for public transport in the Metro South East, Cape Town


Establishing how to integrate socio-economic development into the rollout of public transport through multi-stakeholder engagement.

The City of Cape Town aims to create opportunities for the residents of the Metro South East by providing improved access to areas of opportunities in Cape Town through developing an integrated rapid transport system. Properly functioning public infrastructure is key to human and private sector development. This project aims to realise modern public infrastructure and to develop economic activity in the Metro South East by providing safe, reliable and affordable integrated public transport facilities between Khayelitsha and neighbouring areas, such as Philippi, as well as Cape Town city centre.

The Public Transport Interchanges (PTIs), where commuters change from one mode of transport to the next, offer various opportunities to boost the social and economic development in the Metro South East itself. These Public Transport Interchanges will be ‘multifunctional hubs’ with public transport facilities. Here people can find a connection to different modes of transport in a safe environment as well as community centres with public and commercial activities and services (shops, banks, clinics, etc.). To make sure these PTIs are used to their full potential, they must meet the needs of commuters, consumers, residents, entrepreneurs and services such as the police. It is of importance to take the needs, wishes and ambitions of these various stakeholders into account and translate them into an appropriate design. As a Cordaid partner, we are focusing on the development and design of the public transport interchanges and are involving local residents, entrepreneurs and the different departments of the City of Cape Town in this process.


In preparation for the actual implementation of the infrastructure project, we provide technical expertise, involve stakeholders in the design phase and model the socio-economic character of the PTIs.

Residents are excluded to a large extent from full social and economic participation in Cape Town. The MSE inhabitants of approximately 1.3 million people have limited access to services, facilities and amenities. While a number of high quality public open spaces have been developed in the MSE over the last 10 years, access to quality public open spaces is lacking for many. Most residents have access to formal services and infrastructure. However, the MSE has the highest number of informal settlements where access to water and sanitation is limited to communal standpipes and shared toilets. According to the 2001 Census almost 90% of Kayelitsha’s population belongs in the low-income category, while 68% live in informal housing. Violence rates are among the highest in the world and especially for young girls and women, there are only a few spaces where they can freely and safely interact.

PTIs and surrounding areas/precincts have the potential to accommodate some of the required social, economic and commercial needs in the deprived MSE and should not only be merely for transport handling. PTIs could become vibrant places for social and commercial activities, while it can attract other users from surrounding communities. A management mechanism is needed which will ensure that business opportunities are maximised in terms of existing initiatives and other potentials.

By envisioning the PTI precincts together with the end-users, operators, (commuters, transport operators), community representatives, professionals, entrepreneurs and investors their different needs, demands and aspirations can be fed into a common plan for the PTI precincts. This is creating inclusive spaces that are economic and commercial hubs, sociable, inspiring, secure, culturally aware and meet transport demands. At the same time ownership is created which in the end leads to more satisfactory, sustainable and secure PTIs.

By making an integral plan for the PTIs and at the same time looking at the specific needs and opportunities in the surrounding areas of that PTI, one can diversify the use of each PTI in such a manner that these are complementary.



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