In reading the title of my fundraiser "Help me find Global Solutions to South Africa's Public Transport Challenge", I have to admit, it reminds me of the movie Ms Congeniality, where all the contestants wanted World Peace. It seems like such a bold statement, an unattainable dream or goal. But is it?
- As a proud South African, born and bred in Cape Town, I think I live in the most beautiful country and city in the world. South Africa has such natural beauty and resources, good weather and offers diverse experiences. If I were to draft a list of reasons why South Africa should top all tourists' bucket list, it would be endless.
- But as much as South Africa offers all these great things, it's a developing country with its own socio-economic challenges of which public transport is definitely one.
South Africa's Public Transport Challenge
- "Transport, is the Heartbeat of Economic Growth and Social Development!"
- It provides people with mobility; allows them to travel to work, to school or to see their friends and family.
- Public transportation also helps to reduce road congestion and travel times, air pollution, carbon emissions, energy and oil consumption.
- But if I have to be honest, I don't utilise public transport. I prefer driving to work in my own car. I don't belong to a lift club. I sit, like most citizens, in traffic daily, frustrated and angry during the long commute to and from work. I am adding to the problem of congested roads and carbon emissions.
- In order for me to make the mindshift and to utilise public transport, it will require public transport in South Africa to be more accessible, affordable, safe and reliable.
- The majority of South Africans, on the other hand, don't have the luxury of choice.
- Transport costs makes out a great part of South African households' budgets.
- Access to school remains a problem for many children in South Africa, particularly those living in more remote areas where public transport to schools is lacking or inadequate and where households are often unable to afford transport for children to get to school.
- Every day, millions of learners, wake up early, to tackle the long commute to schools. For those not fortunate enough to have access to scholar transport, it requires walking long distances to access their constitutional right to basic education.
- Poorest households possibly spend less on transport because they are unemployed or not economically active. For some, high transport costs may even deter economic participation--i.e. taking up a job because if they work out how much it will cost them to commute to work and home, then it's not economically viable.
- The City of Cape Town seems to have realised the predicament that job seekers find themselves in. Mayor Patricia De Lille recently announced that “Many people are giving up looking for work because travel costs are a barrier. We (the City of Cape Town) want to implement this initiative to take away the barrier of travel costs which sometimes prevents people from being able to access job opportunities.”
- The City of Cape Town recently announced that they are planning on introducing a free service during off-peak hours. The idea is that residents travelling on the MyCiTi buses between 10am and 3.30pm will then not be charged in order to allow job seekers the opportunity to find employment.
- Ideas like this one inspire economic growth and development.
For "a developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation."
- Gustavo Petro, former Mayor of Bogotá (Colombia)
- South Africa needs more innovative thinking to combat the public transport challenge it's facing. The challenge requires changemakers and people who can find solutions to ensure that we as South Africans develop a public transportation network for our country that is more accessible, affordable, safe and reliable. In short, we need innovative, out of the box thinking!
Help me find global solutions to South Africa's public transport challenge
I would like your assistance in enrolling for an international study programme which has the potential to advance my career in public transport regulation & to give me the competitive edge that I need to bring about effective change.
It's an International Diploma Programme for Managers in Public Transport, an expert-level year long course composed of three modules in three different countries (Amsterdam, Milan & Singapore). This course is offered by expert trainers with extensive experience in public transport management and operations from different regions of the world.
It will broaden my knowledge and understanding of global mobility issues and I will gain insight into the main challenges facing the public transport sector. It will allow for international benchmarking, facilitating and exchange of experience with peers from around the world. Furthermore, it will allow for engaged discussion on the latest trends and developments in the sector with experienced public transport experts and professionals.
How can you help?
The obstacle I am facing is that the the costs of the first two block sessions (Amsterdam & Italy) are in Euros and our current exchange rate makes this educational opportunity rather costly.
EUR 5 790 (that is excluding flights and accommodation)
The registration fees have been sponsored. Thus any donation towards flights, visa and accommodation costs would be highly appreciated.
Why invest in me?
I am passionate about public transport. I am currently working in the field of public transport regulation and is thus in a professional capacity to influence decisions and contribute to the development of South Africa's transport sector. I will endeavour to utilise the newly acquired knowledge and insights to promote this goal and to make a tangible difference in the lives of South Africans who so desperately need and deserve access to reliable and affordable public transport.
To further demonstrate my passion for public transport, I will be participating in the Wakati Challenge in December 2017. It's a global race whereby teams of 3 will depart on an epic adventure, using only public transport to race from Cape Town to Zanzibar. For more information on the challenge, check out the official website https://www.wakatichallenge.com/