Safe Cycling Breakfast Speech | Western Cape Government


Safe Cycling Breakfast Speech

22 April 2011

Sport is as synonymous with South Africa as is the acceptance that we are a major international tourism destination. When people see Table Mountain, they remember the Springboks, Bafana Bafana and the Proteas. Whether it's the professionally organised competitive sports like rugby, cricket, soccer and cycling, as we have just witnessed with one of the biggest cycling events in the world, the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, or the smaller community-organised recreational sports like what we have here today, one thing is clear, South Africa is a sporting nation, we are a passionate nation and nothing can take that away from us.

I recently read about criminal activity in this area, and how some cyclists had been seriously injured by thieves hiding in bushes, hitting cyclists off their bikes and riding away with their bikes. This kind of activity cannot be tolerated and it makes me proud to be a Capetonian and a South African when I heard how the local cycling community, all of you gathered here today, took it upon yourselves and involved local law enforcement and, together, carried out patrols to ensure the safety of this trail.

It makes me proud to know that our citizens do not sit back and walk away when crime comes into their community. They stand up and do something about it. Because of your togetherness, you have ensured that after a long, hard day at work, or early in the morning on the weekend, you still have a place to ride your bikes, a place where you can exercise your right to live a healthy lifestyle and a place where you can unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Cape's nature.

We have an official sport safety campaign to prevent violence and unsafe behaviour on our rugby fields. This is called the Riaan Loots campaign, named after a player that sadly lost his life playing the sport that he loved. Last year, we hosted the world's biggest sporting event, the FIFA Soccer World Cup, and that mega event, a world-class event, was incident free. While Bafana Bafana may not have won last year, there was no less enjoyment from South Africans and our thousands of international guests. It is clear to me that you are just as serious about safe sporting environments and I applaud you for your strength and your willingness to take it upon yourselves to get the police involved, community watch organisations and friends and family.

I'd like to invite you all to please join me in a light breakfast now before you head out on your bicycles.

Thank you.