Joburg Mayor, Mpho Parks Tau was in good form as he rode his bicycle from the City centre to Soweto, along with 5000 other cyclists in the inaugural Freedom Ride on Sunday.
The ride started at the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Braamfontein, and went past sites of historical significance, including the route of the Rea Vaya bus and one of the City’s Corridors of Freedom, the Newclare Cemetery - where Walter and Albertina Sisulu are buried, the Bill Jardine Stadium, the Orlando Stadium, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the Mandela home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando West. The riders then made their way back to the Nelson Mandela Bridge.
The ride attracted a cross section of Joburg residents – the young and old, across racial and gender lines.
Mayor Tau said the City’s support for the Freedom Ride is designed to promote healthy living, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote a cleaner environment and build cohesion and unity between different communities.
MMC for Social Development, Councillor Chris Vondo said the freedom ride was in memory of City freeman, Nelson Mandela, who passed away last December. “We will ride in honuor of what Madiba stood for, freedom for all. We want this to be a Madiba moment.”
MMC Vondo called on all residents to be active. “It is the commitment we made in our Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) because we want Joburg to be a cycling community.”
As part of its commitment to safety, the City has started constructing dedicated lanes for cyclists.
The ride also aims to raise awareness about cycle safety and bicycles as a form of transport and recreation.
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