eThekwini Municipality Mayor, James Nxumalo, has committed himself to cycling regularly using an electric bicycle when going to work.The pledge was made during the launch of the Metro Police Electric Bicycle Pilot Project. Ten electric bicycles were handed over to the Metro Police to use when patrolling in the Durban beach front as part of the pilot.
The project aims to test alternative modes of transportation in the city. Petrol and diesel engines continue to contribute negatively to the overall carbon footprint.”As the eThekwini Municipality we are committed to playing our part in renewable energy and different modes of transportation. I will be cycling regularly from my home in Pinetown to work at the City Hall. I will do my best to do this regularly. I am challenging other Mayors throughout South Africa and internationally to commit themselves as I have,” said Nxumalo.
Before the event started Nxumalo cycled from the City Hall through Dr Pixley KaSeme to the Durban Beachfront Fountain Court where the launch was held. He was accompanied by the ten Metro Police Officers who used the bicycles to patrol. Deputy City Manager Derek Naidoo said President Jacob Zuma had made a call to reduce the carbon emission by 35 %. “We are committed to doing this and the ebikes are a small contribution to reducing the carbon emissions.”
Using the ebike was not the only highlight of the day. Deputy Head in the eThekwini Transport Authority, Carlos Esteves, announced that the Municipality was building cycle lanes in various parts of the city to encourage cycling amongst its citizens. “The cycle lanes are part of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN). Cycling is the most efficient mode of transportation. Cycling lanes are busy being constructed and residents will be able to cycle on Archie Gumede Place to the Botanic Gardens.”
He added that his unit was currently widening the Umngeni Bridge to cater for another cycle lane. Mayor Nxumalo said commuters should begin to explore other modes of green transportation especially those living in the inner city.”If this pilot is successful, it could be rolled out to other businesses within the city. We are passionate about protecting the environment making sure we reduce the carbon emissions. Let’s run, let’s walk and let’s bike,” ended Nxumalo.