The Gauteng Department of Transport has added a new low cost mode of transport to its public transport mix.

Speaking at the launch of the new cargo e-bike, MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi descried the new low cost entry into the transport sector as something that can support micro-enterprises.

“It empowers us to manufacture locally and by doing so to further our national interests through import replacement. The cargo e-bike is a small step forward towards reindustrialisation,” Vadi said.

He added that the cargo e-bike will also give the province an opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint by shifting from petrol to electric propulsion.

Empowering the community

The six months, e-bike pilot project was launched in a partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the SKDP, a non-profit-organisation based in Sharpeville.

The MEC said the partnership with SKDP will empower both the organisation and the community at large.

“At the heart of the success of this project has been the growing partnership between the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Germany,” Vadi said.

Testing underway

“The pilot study will give us information on the feasibility of using the e-bike in a township setting. The e-bike will be fitted with a GPS and each rider will have a mobile phone to track the bikes and provide data showing its ruggedness, safety and mileage covered in terms of its business model,” Vadi said.

He said each rider will provide daily performance reports of the bike and the challenges faced on the road.

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