Lean, green machines to patrol Nelson Mandela Bay streets

Town rangers Monwabisi Lungelo, left, and Roger Spandiel with one of the tuk tuks
Town rangers Monwabisi Lungelo, left, and Roger Spandiel with one of the tuk tuks
Image: Werner Hills

Criminals beware – a deceptively quiet, lean, green machine is being unleashed on Nelson Mandela Bay streets to ensure bylaws are not broken.

In efforts to go green while busting those breaking bylaws, the Mandela Bay Development Agency has converted two tuk tuks – now battery and solar-powered – to prowl the streets.

The vehicles have a range of 60km when fully charged.

They are licensed and will be deployed in the CBD to support the movement of MBDA town rangers who enforce bylaws and informal trading regulations.

The MBDA, in collaboration with the uYilo e-Mobility programme based at the Nelson Mandela University, embarked on the project to promote the concept of Electro-Mobility.

This refers to electric-based modes of transport to get away from fossil fuels and carbon gas emissions.

“The introduction of e-Mobility into the MBDA was achieved through the conversion of the agency’s two tuk tuks, which have been modified and converted to battery-powered units with solar-panel augmentation,” MBDA spokesperson Luvuyo Bangazi said.

“The conversion entailed matching the performance of the tuk tuks’ combustion configuration, making them compliant for on-road usage.”

Bangazi said the agency’s focus involved partnering with strategic stakeholders to solve future problems.

“Same as we did with the new-generation composite materials use in the construction of the Baakens pedestrian bridge, e-Mobility offers a comprehensive ecosystem of products and services generated within Nelson Mandela Bay.

“It is about leveraging locally engineered technology and innovation.

“The MBDA as a special-purpose vehicle of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has the responsibility to work with partners towards stimulating economic growth.

“We do this by collaborating with partners to champion innovative projects that support the Bay’s position as the headquarters of the automotive sector and positioning the Bay at the cutting edge of innovation.

“In future, e-Mobility will become the norm just as e-mail has surpassed postage,” Bangazi said.