The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is ramping up its efforts to curtail crime against cyclists, particularly along the Ironman route, by training ambassadors who will protect cyclists, starting from next month.
The partnership between the city ambassadors programme and non-profit organisation Qhubeka Charity will see 50 unemployed young people from Walmer township trained as cyclists to be hired by the metro through the extended public works programme.
The initiative is set to run from the build-up of the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and beyond.
The plan follows several violent attacks and robberies on cyclists over the past year, the most recent one against Mandela Bay Development Agency spokesman Luvuyo Bangazi, who was mugged last month.
Details of the programme were unveiled at yesterday’s mayoral committee meeting.
Sports, recreation, arts and culture portfolio chairwoman Siyasanga Sijadu said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that Walmer township residents benefited from the spectacle in September.
She said Qhubeka Charity rewarded individuals who did positive deeds in their respective communities by giving them bicycles as a means of transport.
“When we sat as a committee and thought about the Ironman world championships, we decided that it was important people from around the Walmer Gqeberha benefit from the upcoming championships,” Sijadu said.
“Who knows the area more than people who live in it?
“To have a meaningful impact by imparting skills and training, this is a great initiative in that it will give young people from around the area access not only to bicycles but they will acquire a lifelong skill.”
Sijadu said the