Under the theme “Together we move South Africa forward”, the Department of Transport will launch its annual October Transport Month (OTM) campaign on 1 October.
OTM focuses on infrastructure projects that have major socio-economic spin-offs, for all modes of transport such as road, aviation, maritime, rail and public transport.
This year, emphasis will be placed on four pillars:
- Jobs created through infrastructure and other service delivery programmes;
- Major infrastructure developments and improvements and links to local economic developments;
- Special programmes aimed at youth and women; and,
- Rallying all sectors of society to improve road safety with an opportunity to market programmes to be implemented by the Road Safety Advisory Council.
Ongoing transport projects
Key projects will include the official opening of road infrastructure projects, such as the R71 Moria Project (interchange safety improvement), Umgeni Interchange and Denneysville Sasolburg Road in Free State.
Minister Jeff Radebe, the minister in the Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, said OTM was also an opportunity to increase road safety awareness. In addition, traffic officers will rotate work shifts for a 24-hour day to help decrease the number of road accidents.
“The government has also developed a qualification for traffic officers from National Qualifications Framework (NQF) 4 to NQF 6 in order to further professionalise the traffic fraternity,” he said.
Gauteng’s business hub, Sandton, will take part in the Ecomobility World Festival during OTM. The aim is for a car-free CBD for the duration of the festival.
“We want to close off certain streets in Sandton, our second largest CBD, to car traffic and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of ecomobility during the entire Transport Month,” said Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau.
“We want to show residents and visitors that an ecomobile future is possible and that public transport, walking and cycling can be accessible, safe, attractive and cool!”The city is providing alternative modes of transport to Sandton.
For more information, visit the Ecomobility World Festival website.
Cape Town suburb goes car-free
In Cape Town, Open Streets Bellville takes place on 4 October, when Kruskal Avenue and part of the very busy Voortrekker Road become a car-free corridor for residents to explore, use and play on their streets.
“October is Transport Month,” explains Marcela Guerrero Casas, Open Streets Cape Town co-founder and director, “and everyone is encouraged to use public transport. In addition to trains and minibus taxis, there are already 140 cyclists confirmed to be riding from the centre of Cape Town to the Bellville CBD along Voortrekker Road.
Watch Open Streets Cape Town take over the city’s Bree Street:
In addition to promoting alternative modes of transport, the programme – which is supported by the city of Cape Town – aims to help connect different communities, support local businesses and expose people to healthy and creative ways of using streets as public space for recreation.
Activities on the day will include local performers and artists, a reading corner, street soccer, skateboarding and children’s games. The Cape Cobras cricket team will also be launching their season with an appearance on the day, to play street cricket with children as part of their community development activities.
Open Streets Cape Town is a citizen-driven initiative, working to change how streets are used, perceived and experienced. It was founded in 2012. Open Streets is a 40-year-old global movement inspired by Bogotá’s Ciclovía.
Watch what happens when Open Streets Cape Town gets going: