Zille pushes pedal power on Garden Route

Janine Oelofse

WESTERN Cape premier Helen Zille’s “Better Together Cycle Tour” entourage rolled into Mossel Bay yesterday, a touch weary after pedalling through the Garden Route for two days in some bad weather, but nonetheless in high spirits.

Zille was accompanied in stages by Western Cape MECs Donald Grant (education), Dan Plato (community safety), Ivan Meyer (cultural affairs and sport), Alan Winde (finance and tourism) and Bonginkosi Madikizela (human settlements), along with a host of provincial government officials and cyclists from the Bicycle Empowerment Network.

“The aim of the tour is to promote healthier life choices and to take our Better Together message out to residents,” Zille said.

The tour started on Sunday with the group, led by Zille, cycling from Plettenberg Bay to Knysna and, yesterday, from George to Mossel Bay.

Today they will push through to Albertinia and Riversdale, tomorrow Swellendam and Hermanus, and Stellenbosch on Thursday, before the final leg to Khayelitsha in Cape Town.

At each stop, Zille handed over bicycles to pupils, community care workers and neighbourhood watch teams. She said the more than 100 bikes handed over on the tour would enable the recipients to fulfil their responsibilities better and improve the mobility of neighbourhood watches, chronic medication dispensing units, farm worker development programmes and schools.

“The neighbourhood watches will use the bikes for patrols, the chronic medication dispensing units for making community care workers mobile, farm worker development programmes for children on farms to get to extra-mural activities and schools to assist with learner transport,” Zille said.

Her spokesman, Zak Mbele, said the premier had cycled the entire 47km leg from the George Airport to Mossel Bay yesterday. “She has trained for this and is in good shape. Not all of us have been able to maintain her pace,” he joked.

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