Project Background

In mid 2015 the VW Works Council and Terre des Hommes approved to support the project Eurist-SA-Eval-Ubuntu-2015 which was managed and implemented by EURIST, with a total budget of 9.500 € from 1/8/2015 to 31/3/2016. The project was be 100% funded by VW Works Council, Wolfsburg.

Project Goal

As a pilot project 15 bicycles were provided to local sports clubs of Sianquoba/Port Elisabeth to empower the youth in cycling: The project’s idea was to develop a sports cycling culture as basis for personality development and socialization of girls and boys / young people in South Africa.

As a pilot project, the data gathered in this evaluation project shall be the basis for further extending the project idea to other regions and for fundraising in Europe and South Africa.

Situational Analysis

Despite increasing motorisation in South Africa, non-motorised transport (NMT) modes like cycling still have the potential to play a crucial role in the country’s transport sector and its mobility culture.
Cycling has always been popular in rural and urban Africa and could continue to provide a safe, efficient, healthy and sustainable means of transport.

Increasing motorisation has rendered cycling and also sports cycling unsafe and unattractive. The needs of NMT are routinely omitted from the designs of road improvements and there is a general lack of specialised infrastructure. This has led to a negative image of cycling in the general population. The low quality of existing bicycles and the lack of various types of bicycles, for example sports bicycles, women bicycles etc., and the cost of purchase pose additional problems for the expansion of transport cycling in South Africa.

However, more and more cities are now realising the benefits of NMT and are designing policies, programmes and projects to accommodate cycling needs. Not only does this lead to more sustainable transport, it provides a strong impetus towards improved urban environments and a sustainable mobility culture as a basis for sustainable development both on the societal as well as the individual, personal level.

The Ubuntu project focuses on the personal level of a cycling-inclusive individual life and a cycling inclusive mobility culture. Systematic data in this field of intervention are still few. For this reason the evaluation should contribute to systematic data, especially to motivate other potential partners to support these kind of interventions.


Project Description

In partnership with BEN (Bicycle Empowerment Network), a non-profit Organization based in Cape Town, and TDH, we piloted the Ubuntu Bicycle Empowerment Programme.
Relying on BEN’s expertise, we distributed bicycles to 15 of our secondary-school students. These beneficiaries then participated in the following activities:

  • Training courses offered by a local cycling club, Siyanqoba, that instructed beginners how to ride, in- termediate learners how to improve their technique, and advanced riders to take increasingly chalenging courses
  • Training seminars which encompassed safety lessons, basic bicycle mechanics, and cycling techniques.
  • An after-school cycling club comprised of 15 students who met once a week to cycle together
  • Life-skills courses offered each week, promoting critical thinking, creativity, time-management, self-esteem, and curiosity
  • Psychosocial services, in the form of both one-on-one counselling and support groups

Together, these initiatives encouraged children to develop a deep appreciation for an activity that they had little access to before. Individual self-development and team-building exercises strengthened their commit- ment to learning as well as to the progress of their peers. As children advanced to their cycling goals, they be- came more enthusiastic about developing and achieving goals in other aspects of their lives.

Most importantly, they developed healthier behaviors, making them more equipped to take advantage of new learning opportunities.



Project Results (to be filled with quantitative data by EURIST)

  • All beneficiaries were able to manage 1 hour trainings on the cycling track of Sianquoba. Further- more they were self-confident enough to cycle on rural roads with traffic and in more hilly areas (in groups).
    Hence, 100% of beneficiaries demonstrated Improved cycling knowledge and riding skills.
  • Physical fitness level obviously improved as almost all managed to increase the distance over time.
  • In addition they developed basic knowledge about bike repair and gained basic mechanical under- standing.
  • In a psychological dimension the project created improved team spirit among exceptionary all bene- ficiaries: In case of tiredness, technical defects or lack of motivation or smaller accidents
  • In a gender perspective the group members made no difference in getting along with their comrades: Girls and boys worked, cycled and communicated with each other as a genuine team
  • Parents stated that their children increasingly took over responsibilities for their own daily life and family issues/tasks
  • The responsible supervisors in Sianquoba Cycling Club were fully accepted as authorities and some even appreciated them as role model







Eurist Campus organises Urban Transport Weeks 2015
Get in touch with the international transport community!

Transport is one of the most pressing global issues of the future
The world needs determined and creative professionals, able to understand the scope of the problem
and to envision applicable strategies beyond purely technological innovations.

Sustainable Solutions
Latest trends in Science and Practice
International Job Perspectives

The course held in two 3-Week-Blocks in Spring and Autumn 2015 intended to present the challenge, and to inspire young professionals from multiple disciplines to choose transport as their field of work.
In order to do so we have designed three modules on three main issues of urban transport.

This project was  funded by The "Federal Environmental Agency" UBA

Spring 2015

Module I:     Metropolitan Accessibility 9.3 - 13.3.2015
Module II:    Walking and cycling: 21.9 - 25.9.2015
Module III:   Urban logistics: 28.9 - 02.10.2015

Autumn 2015

Module I:     Metropolitan Accessibility 14.9. -18.9.2015
Module II:    Walking and cycling: 16.3-20.3.2015
Module III:   Urban logistics: 23.3-27.3.2015

Location: Technische Universität Hamburg Harburg


Eurist - Lectures on cycling policy 

Under the patronage of former German Transport Minister Kurt Bodewig, Eurist offers lectures about best practice in sustainable mobility.

The lectures are a combination of information inputs, online interviews with experts and plenary discussions.
In the opening year the topic will be global cycling policy. 

The project addresses students from different faculties, in order to emphasise the interdisciplinary aspect of sustainable mobility.

The overall objective is to improve the combination of teaching, practice and policy in the field of sustainable mobility. An important component is to raise the awareness of the importance of sustainable mobility for their professional careers and thus to improve the level of importance it has as a subject in relevant university classes.

In the opening year of the lectures cycling policy is used as an example for the tension between traditional transport planning and sustainable transport policy, which is so difficult to overcome.

It will be a plea for the integration of urban Planning and Transport planning in order for the future experts to be able to understand and solve some of the most challenging global issues of their time.

Funded by:

In order to download the keynote presentations and some further information please use the following links.

New York

Further information on Sustainable urban Transport 

   In the year 2012 the Umweltbundesamt (UBA) funded a Study on Financing
sustainable Transport in Africaconducted by Eurist.

   The work has concluded now and the results of the study were published.

The overall goal was to help link future transport funding and evaluation closer to sustainability criteria and indicators – with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and the intention to discuss the transferability of the approach to other developing regions after accomplishment of the study. The expected results include the documentation of current financing actors, financing practice and transport project evaluation.

This goal goal is founded on the current problems and challenges in the African transport sector and is based on the perception that there is still a loose link of donor policies to sustainability criteria and a one-sided focus of current funding practice on infrastructure.

The publication and Website can be found here:


Publication: Financing sustainable Transport in Africa

Website: Financing sustainable Transport in Africa


Next Project

GEF, the UN Global Environmental Facility, funds projects and initiatives related to global environmental challenges in developing and transition countries. GEF has five focus areas forming the background for the project´s targets. One of these is “Climate Change Mitigation”, setting an objective of promoting energy efficient, low-carbon transport and urban systems.
EURIST is involved in the project “Promoting Sustainable Transport Solutions for East African Cities”, which aims to reduce growth in private motorised vehicles, thus reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions in the three capital cities of Addis Ababa, Kampala and Nairobi. The project goal is to create a technical and institutional basis for implementing sustainable transport networks and systems, and establish a demonstration corridor for sustainable urban mobility. The envisaged strategic response is to upgrade the transit systems in these cities, provide improved non-motorised transport infrastructure and implement travel demand management as well as other supporting policies.

Next Project

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