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Second National Non-Motorised Transport Conference Convened at Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History, Pretoria

31 October 2014

 

The Department of Environmental Affairs in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany (working through KfW Development Bank) and in collaboration with the Department of Transport and hosted the 2nd National Non- Motorised Transport Conference, today 31 October 2014 in Pretoria. The conference was officially opened jointly by the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Dr Ismail Vadi and Acting Executive Mayor, MMC Councillor Mashego.

The Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) agenda seeks to promote safe, healthy, affordable, convenient, efficient and an environmentally-friendly mode of transport.

Delivering the key note address, the MEC stated that the conference provided a platform for experts, policy makers, and civil society to not only share their experiences and lessons learnt over the years of piloting the non-motorised transport system, but strategise together in addressing barriers associated with implementation of the NMT.

The conference saw approximately 120 delegates from the three spheres of government, academic institutions, cycling organisations, funding agencies, commuter organisations and unions gather and discuss NMT under the overarching theme “ Green Cities: Promoting the NMT Agenda”, through three subthemes;  Creating an Enabling Environment for NMT, Enhancing Economic Benefits of Cycling Communities and Communication, Awareness and Advocacy.

The Climate Change Response Policy identifies transport as one of the key carbon emitting sectors. The implementation and successful completion of the Non-Motorized Transport programme begins to address both the mitigation and adaptation agenda in response to climate change. The Non-Motorised Transport Policy is one of the Department of Transport’s interventions towards reversing challenges of accessibility and mobility. The Department is making strides to include and formalize NMT within the country’s integrated transport systems.

The Republic of South Africa has a standing Binational Agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany. Environment has been identified as a key area of support with specific reference to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The promotion of the NMT agenda supports both mitigation and adaptation. The three cities which benefited from the partnership are eThekwini Metropolitan, City of Jo’burg and Polokwane Local municipality. The total cost of the Non-Motorized Transport Programme (NMT) is approximately R70 million for all the three municipalities.

The NMT programme forms part of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ 2010 FIFA World Cup National Greening Legacy Programme.

The establishment of the Non-Motorised Transport Programme by the DEA contributes to the implementation of the announcement by President Jacob Zuma in 2009 that South Africa will implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions which will result in the reduction of carbon emissions by 34 % by 2020 and by 42 % in 2025, dependant on availability of finance and technology.

Promotion of the NMT is crucial towards the attainment of the low carbon and/or carbon neutral transportation, with specific focus on cycling and pedestrianization. This mode of transport has a significantly low impact on the environment and added health benefit towards the wellbeing of society. Therefore, NMT is regarded as a catalyst towards achieving the transition to low carbon climate resilient green economy.

During his address, MEC Vadi said, “The country needs to build a stronger cycling culture in South Africa through among other things the establishment of coherent, route-based network connecting main destinations relevant for daily transportation needs. We should explore innovative means such as bike-share, bike rentals which need to work as a feeder to public transport.”

The German government has committed a further R70 million towards a second phase of the NMT programme being implemented by DEA and KfW.

To access the presentations from the second national NMT conference click on the links below:

>> Making Joburg a cycle friendly city.

>> The Shova Kalula National Bicycle programme.

>> The creating of bicycle cities.

For media queries contact

Roopa Singh
Cell: 082 225 3076