Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works Bonginkosi Madikizela made a generous donation when he handed 20 bicycles over to the Open Streets organisation earlier this week. The handover is part of the Provincial Sustainable Transport Programme (PSTP) of the Department of Transport and Public Works.

Open Streets, a non-profit organisation based in Woodstock whose goal is to increase the use of public and non-motorised transport, will distribute the bicycles to local community-based organisations (CBOs).

The 20 bicycles will be used to promote non-motorised, environmentally friendly transport. The PSTP will also assist municipalities in planning infrastructure improvements such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, traffic calming and safe crossings to better protect vulnerable road users.

Providing a bicycle to each of the 20 CBOs will reduce the transport barriers they face and allow them to maximise their reach and better meet the needs of the people they serve. In communities where the majority of the population can barely afford to use taxis, bicycles are a more efficient method of travelling, instead of walking to deliver essential community services. Of course, Bicycles and other forms of non-motorised transport also have the added benefit of being able to get around the city without releasing harmful carbon emissions.

“We are joined today (March 24) by all our partners to promote and advocate for non-motorised transport to use in the city”, said Minister Madikizela at the handover event. “We are looking to decrease carbon emissions. I think bicycles are easily accessible modes of transport, especially for our communities. We as government should look at how we design and plan our communities, to make bicycle lanes part of our planning to promote the use of non-motorised transport”, he added.

Open Streets will distribute one bicycle to a CBO volunteer engaged in delivering services in each of 20 different communities. This person will be a champion for people using bicycles. These volunteers will be tracked and will have to keep a bicycle diary to capture their experiences. The data from these diaries will be collected and used to promote cycling in urban environments.

Picture: Twitter/@WesternCapeGov

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