Province Out in Full Support of Cycle Tour
The Provincial Government of the Western Cape has reaffirmed its support for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour through a number of valuable contributions and commitments, the most important being new innovations with regard to emergency medical services, renewed efforts to ensure road safety for cyclists, and boosting the development of promising young cyclists from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Cycle Tour participants will be the first sportspeople to have access to the Western Cape's brand-new mobile ICU clinic. The unit is the first of its kind to operate in South Africa and was designed and built locally in the Western Cape for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. During the tournament it will be placed in close proximity of the Cape Town Stadium for medical emergencies.
The clinic is a state-of-the-art purpose designed, fully equipped medical facility in a portable container. The container of 65 square metres can be placed anywhere at any time and can also be used as a medical facility during disasters. It has eight UCI cubicles at the back and eight at the front which each can accommodate one patient at a time.
An inflating tent in the front contains a Surgical Procedure Room with surgical lights and other equipment such as stretchers and first aid materials which can be used during surgical operations and other medical procedures.
The container will be placed along the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour route at Capri Village to ensure that cyclists are attended to immediately, should the need arise.
The increasing number of people getting killed on Western Cape roads has again stressed the importance of road safety for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. When the Minister of Transport and Public Works Robin Carlisle assumed office he identified road safety as one of his key goals. To this end, he established the Safely Home (province's road safety) campaign which aims to halve road fatalities in the province by 2014.
The long-term objective is to expand dedicated cycling lanes on all identified major roads in line with international best-practice.
The Minister has also instructed his legal advisors to examine the prospect of changing traffic laws to oblige motorists to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and cyclists. This will make it unlawful for motorists to overtake cyclists in the face of oncoming traffic.
The province wants to promote cycling as one of the many ways to reduce traffic congestion, protect the environment and promote healthy living.
The future of all sporting disciplines depends on the involvement of the youth. In South Africa there is the added challenge of sports development in communities previously disadvantaged.
Approximately 160 young cyclists will participate in this year's Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour through the intervention of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.
Young development cyclists from Herbertsdale Cycling Club, Oudtshoorn, Boland Cycling as well as SA Tandem for the Blind will all have the opportunity to take part.
According to Minister Sakkie Jenner "government needs to ensure that talented sportsmen and women can be identified, trained, nurtured and given access to major sporting events".
"For a young sportsperson the opportunity to rub shoulders with top athletes can only be of benefit. One of the young cyclists supported by the department is Denzil Africa, who has just completed a number of qualifying races. He is currently competing in the Giro del Capo, as part of an international cycling team."
Denzil, who many believe has the potential to be part of the 2012 Olympic team, will also be competing as a member of the international team on Sunday.
Mobile ICU Unit:
Media Liaison Officer for Ministry of Health
Cell: 082 771 8834
Tel: 021 483 4426
Dr Cleeve Robertson
Director: Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Cell: 082 991 0761
Tel: 021 948 9908
Cell: 082 801 6960
Tel: 021 483 3235
Media Liaison Officer for Transport and Public Works Ministry
Cell: 083 641 9691
Tel: 021 483 8954
Media Liaison Officer for Cultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation Ministry
Cell: 083 304 3320
Tel: 021 483 9800