December 02, 2003

Cape Town’s Danile Landingwe Speaks out for Sustainable Transport

On shifting the balance:

“We have to deal with the engineers and the planners. They have all been taught at university that you have to accommodate the cars on the road. But in my view the people come first and the cars come secondary. If you look at both Bogotá and Curitiba that is the way; when people cross the road, now drivers are more respectful.”

“That one aspect changes mindset. Bogotá‘s Car Free Day alone is something that everyone looks forward to. The phones are ringing because people are trying to get bicycles. People are flocking to dignified spaces. Communities are being brought to life. That is our baby that we are nursing in that corridor.”

On moving beyond the Apartheid City:

“During the Apartheid days, bridges, roads and rail lines were used to divide communities, to separate white neighborhoods from black neighborhoods. Now, with Bogotá and Curitiba as our guides, we are working to build transportation corridors that bring communities together through public transport that everyone will use, and through dignified spaces where everyone can mingle.”

On the Recapitalization of Minibus Taxis:

“The taxi industry is very volatile. To reorganize our taxi industry we must move beyond recap, though we see a potential to use recap vehicles as a feeder system. We must look beyond recap to organize them so that they become bus owners and then legally receive permits so that they can work on the corridor, then the conflict will be lessened.”

“As I have witnessed in Bogotá, here the taxi industry can become so organized that they are playing a responsible role within the transit authority, also so that they are shareholders. I also saw in Bogotá that the quality of those vehicles operating in the bus corridor brings a change within the mindset of the individuals.”

On political capital:

“Changing the status quo is politically expensive. Politicians think, ‘will I lose my seat’? Peñalosa was almost taken to court! Mockus then took over and now everyone wants Peñalosa to be President. Going to Transvaal and looking at the situation, you have a situation that is not different from Cape Town: people living in outlying communities that need to access services. From Soweto to the city of Johannesburg. From Pretoria to Johannesburg.”

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