Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and a team of cyclists have completed the 2019 Safety Cycle Tour, riding from Saldanha Bay to Cape Agulhas, to spread the message of safety across the province and handing over 200 bicycles along the way.
The group of cyclists included members of cabinet, Western Cape Government officials, as well as cycling and mobility activists from organisations including Qhubeka, BEN bikes, Open Streets, Bicycle Cities, Bicycles and Beyond. Media partner HeartFM also joined the ride and helped to spread the message.
During the four-day tour, bicycles were handed over to pupils from the Weskus Special School, Hopefield Highschool and to Neighbourhood Watch groups in the Breede Valley municipality. In Malmesbury, Qhubeka, a charity distributing bikes to communities and who took part in the cycle tour, handed over 105 bikes to learners at Ilingelethu High School.
Premier Winde said: “a simple bicycle has the ability to connect communities with educational and economic opportunities. Many of the school children who received bikes during this trip, will now be able to get to school quicker and more safely than before.”
Because the focus of the trip was on safety, children who received bikes also received helmets to keep them safe, and road safety tips to ensure safe cycling.
Premier Winde said: “In Breede Valley, we handed over bikes sponsored by the Department of Community Safety which will help make Neighbourhood Watches mobile and more efficient. In Bredasdorp, I had the opportunity to meet some of the municipality’s Peace Officers on bikes. They are recent graduates from the Chrysalis programme, who help to supplement the efforts of Law Enforcement Officers in towns, contributing towards making their communities safer.”
During the trip, Premier Winde also focused on improved road safety- participating in road blocks and traffic blitzes, visiting the Worcester traffic department and assisting cyclists to be safer and more visible.
“As the Western Cape Government, we are focused on building a safer province, but safety is not just about crime. Safety is about our value system and taking responsibility for our safety and the safety of others by adhering to the rules, which include the traffic rules.”
He also handed out books collected during the massively successful Western Cape book drive, to the Wellington Library and to Holvlei Primary school.
The group also visited the Jakes Gerwel Technical School in Bonnievale- a collaboration between the local community and the Western Cape Government. The community of Bonnievale stepped up and played a part to ensure that children in the area are able to access educational opportunities, and the world-class facility now ensures that the learners who attend, will develop necessary skills that will secure their futures, and address the skills needs of businesses in the area.
Premier Winde said: “This trip gave us the opportunity to meet with community members, and see the work that municipalities are doing towards building safer communities. I hope that it has also inspired people to consider taking up cycling as a way to improve their mobility, connect them to opportunities and support systems, with the added benefit that they can also improve their health.”