The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) together with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) handed over 120 bicycles to the participants of the Mahushe Shongwe Community Facility Upgrade project in Nkomazi on August 15, 2017.
The introduction of a Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) method (i.e. bicycles) is an initiative by both MTPA and DEA to ensure that those participants working at Mahushe Shongwe nature reserve have a mode of transport to assist them to get to work timeously without any transport hassles.
Due to distance and terrain between the residential homes of the participants and the nature reserve, the project was found to be a suitable pilot project of the NMT.
The bicycles came with a helmet, reflector vest, combination lock and multi toolkit. A series of training sessions have been scheduled to ensure that every one of the participants is able to ride the bicycles and use the multi toolkit provided.
“The Mahushe Shongwe Community Facility Upgrade project is an initiative supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs. This will see a number of infrastructure upgrades at this nature reserve. The non-motorised transport forms part of this project, which is aimed at creating jobs for those communities surrounding our nature reserves. The intention is to not only provide jobs but tools that will assist the workers to perform their duties accordingly. As such this mode of transport will prevent hiccups that may arise due to transport challenges”, said Mr Johannes Nobunga, Chief Executive Officer of MTPA.
“The participants of this projects have already received induction, environmental awareness, occupational health and safety, first aid, SHE representatives training and medical fitness tests. All these are aimed at ensuring that they are geared for the work that lies ahead”, added Nobunga.
“We are excited that this project will also be piloted in Loskop Dam nature reserve in the Nkangala District in due course”, concluded Nobunga.