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About 30 City of Johannesburg ward transport and public safety representatives in Region G have completed an extensive two-day training course at Eldorado Fire Station in Eldorado Park aimed at equipping them with skills to enable them to react appropriately in the event of road incidents within their wards.

Region G includes areas such as Orange Farm, Lenasia, Ennerdale, Eldorado Park, Protea and Kanana Park. The training, which was coordinated by the City’s Transport Department and was conducted by the City’s Emergency Management Services (EMS) personnel, formed part of Transport Month activities.

The training was also aimed at creating fire safety awareness among ward committee members, who, according to Member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport, Councillor Christine Walters, are at the forefront of community transport safety. The 30 bring to 69 the number of ward committee members who have been similarly trained since the beginning of Transport Month. The first group to receive training was in Soweto at Jabulani Fire Station.

It is envisaged that by the time Transport Month ends on November 1, more than 150 ward committee members throughout the City would have gone through the course, which also includes physical training. Successful candidates are presented with certificates at the end of the second session.

MMC Walters said ward committee members were chosen for this training because of their proximity to communities.

“They are always on the ground. They are at the forefront of community safety. That’s why it is critical that they are equipped with proper information and skills in case they are confronted with emergency situations such as road accidents. They should be able to make the area safe for motorists.”

Transport Month kicked off with a Go Gas Mobility Summit, in which Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau announced the City’s plans to migrate its vehicle fleet from petrol and diesel to biogas.

This year’s Transport Month will, as the theme suggests (Towards ecomobility – Walk, cycle and use Public Transport), focus on encouraging residents to walk, cycle and use public transport to find their way around the city.

A number of events aligned to the theme have been planned. One of the highlights will be the launch of the first completed dedicated cycling and walking pathways in Orlando, Soweto, on 23 October 2014 in partnership with the national government.

As part of the City’s commitment to improving public transport safety, a safety awareness campaign in partnership with the taxi industry will conducted at the Baragwanath Taxi Rank in Soweto later in the month.

The city’s women – who just recently celebrated Women’s Month – will play a visible role during Transport Month. The City will host a Women-in-Transport and Construction Seminar on 29 October 2014. The seminar will focus on motivating women in emerging companies by identifying opportunities in the transport sector.

A popular public transport adventure, during which teams compete to visit places of interest using public transport, will be held again this year under the name of “Kasi to Kasi”.

Another highlight of Transport Month will be the Eco-mobility Weekend in Maboneng, a privately developed urban neighbourhood on the eastern side of Johannesburg, from 24-26 October 2014, during which time certain streets will be closed and visitors encouraged to use public transport to get to the precinct. There will be various activities such as a Bloc Party, outdoor screening of games, food tasting, skateboarding as well as music performances.

On November 1, the City will stage an “open street” event in Kaalfontein and officially launch the recently improved sidewalks in this area.​