The Netherlands Consulate General in collaboration with the Pedal Power Association and the BYCS initiative is excited to introduce Lebogang Mokwena as the 2018 Bicycle Mayor. This pilot project is based on an independent global initiative by BYCS that originated in the Netherlands and aims to accelerate cycling awareness and progress of cycling in cities. Part of Lebogang’s mandate is to review the sustainability of the programme in the Cape Town context, including the mechanism of the appointment of future candidates. The official launch will take place on Saturday, 21 April 2018 at Thembelihle High School from 09:00 – 12:00.
“When I moved to Cape Town, all I wanted was to find a community of like-minded people with whom I could share, among other things, my love for and commitment to bicycles and their potential in helping us to address a range of social issues, including: safety on our streets, affordable and multi-modal transportation alternatives, personal health and wellbeing, as well as sustainable cities and environmental justice,” said Lebogang Mokwena.
“Lebogang has played a remarkable role in motivating people of all ages to pursue utility cycling. On Saturday mornings, she gives a Learn2Cycle class and within two hours, successfully teaches her students to ride. Her high level of commitment and active vision, particularly with regard to women and girls, make her an ideal first Bicycle Mayor. Mobility is a key driver of inclusive economic growth, sustainable development and societal transformation,” said Bonnie Horbach, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“Lebogang’s responsibilities as the Bicycle Mayor will include: raising awareness, investigating the challenges and opportunities of cycling and extending cycling advocacy to the underprivileged,” said Horbach. “Given our country’s history of influx control as well as curtailed freedom of mobility for the majority, both in terms of physical but also economic and social mobility, I see my role as the inaugural Mayor as an opportunity to contribute to the formulation of creative, alternative, and inclusive freedom- and mobility-enhancing futures using a piece of technology that is as democratic and as long-lasting as the bicycle.”
“I look forward to many shared rides and conversations about how we make Cape Town a fun and accessible city for all who live in it one Learn2Cycle session at a time,” concluded Mokwena.
The pilot project forms part of the Consulate’s longer-term mobility strategy through its national #cocreateSA campaign.