At the crack of dawn on Friday, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip officially kicked off the City Ambassador’s maiden patrol when he joined the group in Walmer on their bike course.
Launched a month ago, the City Ambassadors programme is geared towards ensuring the safety of cyclists as well as residents on predetermined routes. The youth, employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), will be working shifts in collaboration with the Metro Police and the South African Police Services (Saps) to maintain peace and tranquility.
The initiative was necessitated by the recent attacks on unsuspecting cyclists on some of the popular cycling routes, something which does not augur well for the City’s tourism image.
The cycling with the group began at 5am from the Multipurpose Centre on Fountain Road, included thirty Ambassadors, local cycling club representatives from iMveli and some of the Bay’s Ironman participants. The enthusiastic bunch set off up Heugh Road, heading towards Mount Pleasant, going over Heartbreak Hill into Seaview road and left at Heroin before heading back via Sardina Bay road. The early morning drizzle did nothing to stop the cheer and excitement as the crew took turns leading the bunch in song.
Nelson Mandela Bay is a popular international sporting destination and as such, it is our responsibility as the City to ensure that we safeguard all the predetermined routes to prevent any further attacks.
With the City preparing to host the much-awaited 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on the 01-02 September, we are doing everything to ensure that our guests and locals are safe.
The Ironman event sees over 6000 athletes from around the world taking part in the event, a massive tourism boost for Nelson Mandela Bay and the local economy. It is for this reason that visible patrolling in our areas is needed as part of ridding our communities of criminal elements.
As and when my schedule permits, I will be joining the patrols to support the team, but also to ensure that all that is needed for this programme to succeed is provided.
I wish to make a clarion call to all our residents to cooperate with our City Ambassadors to make this programme a success.
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