Oh dear – folks are turning on the prawns.
We know that the impending Day Zero has made Capetonians rather on edge, and as residents prepare to pay more for the municipal water they use, the City of Cape Town’s budget is being scrutinised.
Under fire at the moment is the amount the City has spent on the construction of cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways, with IOL reporting:
According to the City’s 2016/17 annual report, a draft cycling strategy was prepared last year to increase cycling’s share of transport in Cape Town from the current 1% to 8% by 2030.
An amount of R158 million was spent in 2016/17.
ACDP councillor Grant Haskin however, said the monies could have been spent on the water crisis.
“We have 9% of the City’s population that using non-motorised transport. Less than 10%. Could this money not have been spent on the water crisis and its augmentation schemes,” Haskin said…
Philip Bam, secretary of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, said that in times of a crisis resources should not be spent on unnecessary luxuries.
“We have a water crisis on our hands and we should be pulling all resources together to ensure we don’t run out of water. We also need to look at our road network before we add cycling lanes. One important element is that cycling lanes should be linked with other transport modes like trains,” he said.
In response to the criticism Brett Herron, Mayco member for urban development and transport, said it’s not quite as simple as that. Some of the funds were conditional grants, meaning they could only be spent on projects such as the cycle lanes:
Herron said the budget for non-motorised transport for 2017/18 was, before the January 2018 adjustment, R174.4m.
“This amount was reduced to R126.3m after Council approved the adjustment budget on Wednesday January 31. The funding was reallocated to other transport-related projects. Note that the projects are funded from grant funding appropriated through the public transport network grant from national government.
“These funds may not be used for any other purpose, other than public transport, which includes NMT projects.
“The projects include the provision of pavements where there are none to improve pedestrian safety, and widening of existing pavements where existing ones are too narrow – again, to improve pedestrian safety. The dropping of kerbs to allow for easier access for people with disabilities, etc,” he said.
You know who we haven’t heard from yet? A king prawn, otherwise known as Pedal Power Association chief executive Robert Vogel:
[He] said government has to start somewhere in respect of cycling lanes.
“Municipalities are predominantly focused on car transport. Currently about 1% of Capetonians cycle to work. There are plans however to get to around 8%,” he said.
Vogel said the City should prioritise cycles and other non-motorised transport.
Look, he has a point. The number one thing Capetonians moaned about before the water crisis was our city’s traffic problems, and they took steps to try and rectify that by making it safer for cyclists to get to work.
Now, with the City’s plans unravelling, to many it comes across as foolish.
On the other hand, there’s this from the Woodstock (Cape Town) Facebook page, posted back in May of last year:
The less said about the spelling the better, but that does look like wasteful expenditure.
We all want less traffic on the road, and even the most callous of drivers would have to admit that cyclists have a tough time on many of our roads, but finding a solution that satisfies everyone looks to be rather elusive.
One thing we can count on is that as the taps run dry, so will Cape Town’s claws come out.
[imagesource:here] In 2010, Yiull Damaso unveiled his painting The Night Watch!, draw...
If you've been reading the news of late, you'll have noticed an increase in stories about ...
Whilst 2007's Rugby World Cup win will never match the sheer joy of the 1995 win, Jake Whi...
Even if you know nothing else about Aristotle Onassis, you probably recognise his name in ...
If you're a smoker in your thirties, you probably remember the days when R20 got you a box...