Electric bikes put to the test


The City of Cape Town is testing the use of electric bikes to fight crime on the often rough Table Mountain terrain.

The City’s Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the City had started experimenting with the bikes last week.

“We are continuing tests with one bicycle which we have access to at this stage.

“The bicycles cost R160 000 each. The directorate will move to procure some bicycles in the new financial year, starting July 2016. At this stage we are unable to provide any more information,” said Mr Smith.

City Bowl ward councillor Dave Bryant, said he would support any initiative that would help fight crime on the mountain.

“On the mountain we sometimes have challenges with the rough terrain.

“It’s one of the reasons muggers tend to use those areas because it can be difficult to pursue in a vehicle.

“There are a handful of criminals on the mountain but we want them all to be caught. We don’t want any crime statistics and want everyone to feel safe.”

He added that the City already had a good working relationship with SANParks and SAPS.

Marc Truss, chairperson of the Table Mountain Safety Forum, said the initiative had more pros than cons and that the bikes would be an asset. “We don’t know much about it (the testing) but it is a great idea. The equipment would be a great help.”

Mr Truss said that two advantages were that the electric bikes were silent and could go off-road. “It will help the rider manouevre around the mountain. You will be able to go to tricky places even if you aren’t super fit. It will help all of us fight crime on the mountain.”

He added that the bikes would also help in combating crime in the surrounding suburbs.