“It is fantastic to be here! This is the first festival that is really promoting what we think is sustainable living. I hope it can serve as a motivating factor to change the society’s mindset around transportation. The term EcoMobility sums it up: We are trying to respect the ecological limits of the world while at the same time operate efficiently where we can.
Geza Jozi is a social enterprise that equips informal recyclists with a Geza trike. In South Africa, thousands of individuals sustain themselves by collecting waste. We empower them by giving them this tricycle which is safer and more efficient on the road.
During the festival, we are in charge of the waste management for the events. We will be driving around, sorting out the food stands and collecting waste were it is. We brought two bikes today and have a fleet of seven at the moment, but we will have 31 by the end of this year.”
Gabriel, founder of the Geza Jozi social enterprise that manufactures and equips waste pickers with an e-Trike
“I came as an exhibitor to the festival because I believe in the cause and also to get a better visibility for our vehicles. We started a business especially for the last mile transport. Our Zing Bike is electric and paddle driven. The idea is a rental system for which people can subscribe and get access to the vehicles. We think people should move away from fossil fuels and single ownership of vehicles.
What I’m hoping is that the regulatory framework will allow us to use the bikes in the street. We need a law – is it a bicycle or a motorbike? Currently it’s a gray area. You cannot insure them at the moment. But if we have a share scheme system, we are responsible.
We want to have ecomobility vehicles being allowed on cycle lanes. We hope the festival makes the law pass a little faster.”
Santa Scheepers, Zing Co, Exhibitor at the EcoMobility World Festival
“Here in the exhibition area we host the History of Transport Museum, which is an interactive temporary museum with a focus on South African transport history. The whole exhibition was approached from elements like fun and engagement and we wanted to stick to the festival concept, change the way you move. That’s why we created a board game which can also be used later on, for example in schools. We also play games here with the visitors to make them aware of different types of transportation. The exhibition is facilitated by volunteers who got a special training.
We did a lot of research, which was quite challenging in a short time. I think the most interesting aspect about our history of transport is Apartheid, which had a huge impact on spatial structures. Many people commute for hours each day as there is no work where they live. I started using the Gautrain when we started preparing the Museum and made site visits to Sandton. Now I use the train every day to get here. When you travel alone, it’s really good. But for families, it is too expensive. Cycling is great but really rare in the city. Many people cannot even afford bicycles.
The reaction to the exhibition was really positive so far. I hope the message spreads further so that more people come here.”
Maria-Paola McGurk, curator of the History of Transport Museum and owner of Colored Cube
Featured Photo: Simphiwe Nkwali, courtesy City of Johannesburg
Other Photos: Theresa Zimmermann, courtesy The Urban Idea