Minister Mitchell hands over bicycles to Ned Doman High School in Athlone

18 Oct 2022 in Where We Govern

As part of part of the Provincial Sustainable Transport Programme (PSTP), I handed over 20 bicycles to the Ned Doman High School in Athlone this morning.

This programme was initiated by the Department of Transport and Public Works to support the development and implementation of sustainable transport systems in the Western Cape.

Since its inception in November 2019, the programme has distributed over 2000 bicycles to various functioning mobility programmes, including neighbourhood watches who benefited in its pilot phase. It also supported mobility programmes for learner transport, micro-enterprise support, food distribution, and even the delivery of medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PSTP aims to develop sustainable transport systems through forming partnerships with key stakeholders, including local municipalities, communities and businesses.

The programme also recognises that Non-Motorised Transport is the most accessible mobility option to access basic services and opportunities, especially for our rural communities. Through this strategy, we introduced the Provincial Bicycle Distribution Programme.

The PSTP’s Provincial Bicycle Distribution Programme identified that lack of access to affordable bicycles is a major obstacle to increasing bicycle mobility, especially for poor communities.

This programme has identified that one of the single biggest constraints to cycling is the initial cost of a bicycle and we aim to improve mobility and access to basic needs by overcoming this obstacle, with the provision of bicycles into worthy mobility programmes.

Providing bicycles to the most deserving citizens reduces the barriers they face and increases their reach and better meets the needs of the people they serve. Cycling and walking remain the most used modes of transport especially in our communities where many children still walk or cycle to school.

As government, we need to pay special attention when we design our communities and invest in infrastructure, so as to promote non-motorised transport like bicycles and build more bicycle lanes. Cycling is a low-carbon and affordable mode of transport. Programmes like this help to improve safety and dignity, reduce the cost of travel and increase access to jobs, education and other services. Today we have taken another small step towards improving mobility in the Western Cape.