The Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba has cancelled the city’s R70m bicycle lanes project saying there would be no bicycle lane until all roads in the capital are tarred.
The project was first started by the governing African National Congress (ANC) in 2014 but it got some hitches on its way as opposition party, the EFF marched to ex mayor Parks Tay’s office to voice their disapproval.
The EFF then said the outrageous millions to be spent on bicycle lanes should be used to provide basic amenities for residents in informal settlements.
Residents in areas like Sandton and Braamfontein, also complained that bicycle lanes were virtually not used for their intended purposes, but are instead used for parking and illegal overtaking by taxi drivers.
Meanwhile, Mashaba, upon his resumption as the new mayor of the city, said he was shocked to hear that R70 million was set aside by the previous government for the construction of the lane.
The mayor delivered his inaugural speech on Tuesday at the city’s council meeting where he officially announced a temporary stop on the project until road works are done.
“I was concerned to note that R70m has been set aside over the next three years for the development of bicycle lanes around our city. I intend putting a halt to this project. When every road in Johannesburg is tarred, maybe then we will look at bicycle lanes again.”
“Transport plays a critical role in economic growth. We need to ensure that Joburg has well-functioning roads, storm water and public transport so that people and goods can move quickly around our City,” Mashaba said.
Speaking further on his projects in the city, the mayor also announced Pikitup will double up on shifts to clean up the city, while the Johannesburg Metro Police Department will bolster visible policing.
“I have already begun work with Pikitup to ensure shift work in the inner city is doubled to address the filth. The JMPD has also agreed to intensify efforts to enforce by-laws in the area and step up visible policing,” he said.
Mashaba also noted that he would not allow motorists to be harassed about e-tolls in his city.