Cape Town - Eco-mobility and sustainable public transport in South Africa will be in the spotlight at the 2015 Green Building Convention, which takes place in Cape Town next week.
“Increasing traffic congestion is a big issue for South Africa’s major metros. Sustainable, safe and reliable public transport is seen as the only real solution, and has the added positive benefit of reducing carbon emissions,” said Brian Wilkinson, CEO of Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).
“Traffic congestion can make cities become dysfunctional, seriously impact productivity levels and result in higher carbon emissions. Cities and city dwellers need to be proactive in searching for alternative transport options, however, cities have the added responsibility of offering integrated transport solutions that works for both its people and the planet.”
Confirmed speakers on the eco-mobility panel at the Green Building Convention includes Leigh Stolworthy, manager for innovation at Transport for Cape Town, Lisa Seftel, executive director of Transport for the City of Johannesburg, and Imelda Matlawe, acting executive project manager of the City of Tshwane’s Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) Specialised Unit.
According to Stolworthy traffic congestion and car ownership will continue to grow if there is no intervention.
"Building more roads is not the solution. Government needs to take a leading role in eco-mobility. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, but rather a range of mechanisms will need to be developed and employed,” he said.
While safety is a big challenge, Seftel said the disparate spatial form of South Africa’s cities makes it difficult and expensive to provide convenient and accessible public transport. Matlawe’s contribution to the eco-mobility panel discussion at the convention will be centred on the City of Tshwane’s commitment to ensure that 30% of its fleet for its new bus service uses Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), which will result in lower carbon emissions.