Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 7-10 July 2014 "Leading Transport into the Future", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Transportation research has mostly focused on urban elements of development, and quite
often, urban transportation planning methods and models are imported to rural
transportation practice with negligible changes resulting almost always in ineffective
solutions. The tide has begun to change though as planners are beginning to craft
interventions that are relevant to rural areas as the example of a project discussed in this
paper shows. The North West Province is predominantly rural, characterized by dispersed
towns, villages and other land-uses with varying activities. Given the dispersed nature of
settlement patterns, the Provincial Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport
embarked on various non-motorised interventions for schools around Ngaka-Modiri
Molema District Municipality (NMMD) in an attempt to address in part the legacy of
apartheid planning. These interventions are being implemented within the ambit of
inclusive and relevant rural transport policy and implementation programs.
This paper reviews the prevailing transport development policy context in the North West
Province with specific reference to the NMMD. It then describes the non-motorised
bicycles project, which has been implemented in order to ensure that scholars in NMMD
exercise their democratic right of accessing basic education, as most scholars walk in
excess of 5 kilometers to school. The paper briefly reflects on scholar mobility in order to
clarify the policy discourse and rationale that underpinned the planning and
implementation of the NMMD non-motorised scholar transport project. This paper relies
heavily on a review of mostly NMMD transport policies, literature and interventions.