Wheels come off bicycle project

Durban - The wheels appear to have come off an ambitious eThekwini Municipality bicycle initiative – even before it has got going. Councillors will be required to ride bicycles to attend meetings and other council business from next year, but the directive is not going down too well.

The municipality’s economic development and planning committee will spend R100 000 to buy 45 bicycles as part of the city’s staff bicycle programme.

A bold scheme to get municipality councillors to ride bicycles to attend meetings has been heavily criticised. Credit: INLSA

In a council agenda, it is stated that 20 bikes will be allocated to the committee, while 15 will be used by members of the executive committee.

The remainder will be allocated to the five support committees.

But opposition parties have described it as a wasteful expenditure, saying the money should have rather been utilised for service delivery.

While it was environmentally friendly, councillors said it was impractical. Councillors also voiced their concern about the risk factor as some areas in Durban did not have dedicated bicycle lanes.

DA councillor, Ronnie Veeran, predicted that the programme would be short-lived. Because of the nature of their jobs, said Veeran, councillors often attended several meetings in one day throughout the city, and they needed a reliable and fast mode of transportation.

Some ANC councillors have also described the initiative as a wasteful expenditure, saying the money could have been utilised for more pressing issues. – Daily News