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The City Of Cape Town Pushing For Flex-Hours & Remote Work

20 May 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in Talent Agents

Cape Town Remote work and flexi hours

If you've been working in the Mother City over the last few years and had to travel into the city for work you'll know exactly what a nightmare it has become. Over the last 5 years, however, the problem seems to have reached a tipping point and with public transport failing to provide alternatives to personal transportation, the city of Cape Town is now facing a major economic crisis caused by traffic congestion.

With Cape Town’s daily traffic congestion showing no signs of going anywhere, the City is working to on alternatives to alleviate the problem through various interventions, including improving the implementation of flexible working hours and remote working within companies.

The City’s plans to ease traffic on our roads include working with private business to encourage consideration and implementation of work hours that allow employees to come and go during off-peak traffic hours, along with this companies are being encouraged to allow employees to work remotely on some days.

Cape Town Resilience Strategy

In a Cape Town Resilience Strategy draft published by the City in March, “sudden shocks” such as high traffic volumes are outlined as a major concern.

“Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa and the 48th most congested city in the world. This is due to a historic lack of substantial investment in public transport and, as a result, over-reliance on the private car. This means that as the population grows, so does vehicle ownership,” - the draft reads.

There can be no arguing this point; locals experience traffic jams during their daily commutes without fail and there simply isn’t enough public transport – never mind reliable public transport – for the entire population.

“With 80% of the peak traffic currently made up of private car users, and peak travelling hours in the morning now recognized to be between 6 am and 10 am, this stress negatively affects productivity,” - the City’s draft states.

Using “travel demand management interventions” the City has in place for its own staff, the City feels it is now in a position to show increased leadership on partnering to alleviate traffic congestion with other employers in Cape Town.

Part of this leadership 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 traffic

Last year in June the City announced it will invest R481-million over the next three years to solve the congestion problem through better availability of transport alternatives which will include expanding the network of safe sidewalks and cycle lanes with the non-motorised transport.

Part of this budget was allocated to six road project to ease congestion along

  1. Van Riebeeck Road,
  2. Langverwacht Road,
  3. Kommetjie Road,
  4. Ou Kaapse Weg,
  5. Broadway Boulevard,
  6. and Bosmansdam Road.

What the City will do next to tackle the problem of congestion in a sustainable and scalable manner remains to be seen. These tactics while it may have merit only paper over the cracks of a debilitated and shambolic public transport system that is dangerous and unreliable. 

While the city may be able to quell some of the traffic it won't do much to alleviate the problem in the long term and they will need to take serious steps in getting Cape Townians to ditcht heir private vehicles and opt for public transport.

If you're interested in seeing the cities Draft proposal that is open for public comment, you can find it here.

Tell us your traffic story

Have you been frustrated with traffic in Cape Town? How do you deal with it? Do you have any tips? Has your business switched to remove work and flexi-hours?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. 

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on local businesses.

Tags: commuting, travel , work, transport

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