Government hands over cycling facilities to Orlando Community in Soweto

23 October 2014


The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) facilitated a partnership between KfW and the City of Johannesburg that resulted in the handing over of cycling facilities to the Orlando community in Soweto as part of a series of non-motorised transport awareness activities during October, Transport month. 

These role-players developed a three-day programme aimed at promoting non-motorised transport and proper integrated transport planning towards sustainable development. The launch in Orlando culminates in the hosting of the second non-motorised conference next Friday, 31 October 2014.

“President Jacob Zuma announced prior to the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009 that South Africa will implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions which will result in the reduction of our carbon emissions by 34 % by 2020 and by 42 % in 2025, dependant on availability of finance and technology,” Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa said this week.

“As a country, we further introduced the National Climate Change Response Policy. The policy sets the country’s vision for an effective climate change response and the long-term transition to a climate resilient and low-carbon economy and society.The Non-Motorised Transport Project is integral to the implementation of the Policy’s Flagship Programmes with particular focus on sustainable transport,” Minister Molewa said.

The cities that have been funded through this partnership are EThekwini, Johannesburg and Polokwane.

The total cost of the Non-Motorized Transport Programme (NMT) is R50 million for all the three municipalities.

The NMT Project forms part of the integrated public transport, which among others includes routes to schools and tourism. It also has as a primary objective of introducing cycling as a safe mode of transport.  Many people in Soweto already walk to work, school and public transport facilities and there is currently a very low percentage of cyclists in the area. This project is thus aimed at introducing cycling as an alternative mode of transport in Soweto, to begin to build a cycling culture in the area.

The City of Johannesburg has completed the construction of 5km of walking and cycling paths in Orlando, Soweto. The project was funded to the tune of R16.2 million.

The route connects schools to residential areas to facilities such as the Orlando Stadium and the police station as well as Rea Vaya BRT and railway stations. The Orlando project includes sidewalk improvements, provision of bicycle lanes, greening and stormwater management, improved street lighting and the provision of bicycle racks with associated street furniture.

The implementation of this project supports the City of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 to provide alternate transport systems in car-oriented environments.

The NMT programme forms part of the Department’s 2010 FIFA World Cup National Greening Legacy Programme. This programme has been implemented in close collaboration with the National Department of Transport and the various municipalities.

DEA identified and establishedNon-Motorized Transport (NMT) as one of the programmes to contribute towards the reduction of the carbon emissions in preparation for the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. One way of achieving carbon neutral transportation is through the promotion of non-motorised transportation. This mode of transport has a significant low impact on the environment and added health benefit towards the well-being of society.

As part of the implementation of the NMT, infrastructure development has been completed at Ethekwini Metro and was officially opened by the Executive Mayor of EThekwini, earlier this month. Infrastructure development is at final stages of completion at Polokwane Local Municipality.

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