26 October 2020
The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government have rolled out the city’s first universal access mat at the Muizenberg beach.
The Mobi-Mat, a roll-out walkway, is environmentally friendly, lightweight and creates easy access for wheelchairs and persons with walking aids.
The mat was donated by Western Cape Government via its WoW! Programme.
Manufactured in France, the Mobi-Mat is environmentally friendly as it is made from 100% recycled polyester. Its lightweight roll-out technology, creates a pathway for outdoor access for wheelchairs, baby prams and walking chairs. The bright blue colour makes it easy to identify from a distance and the non-slip surface provides an easy transition from the pathway over the sand to the ocean. The length of the mat is approximately 50m and cost R390 000 to procure.
“This is the launch of the first-ever Beach Access Mat in the province, accordingly, it is expected that the installation of the Mobi-Mat would facilitate the empowerment and social inclusiveness of persons with mobility impairments through their participation in coastal recreation and leisure activities. In addition, the mat should positively influence the attitudes that prevent differently-abled individuals from participating in the community,” said the Western Cape Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien, added: “As a Department, we recognised the need to give dignity and equal access to all members of society to our award-winning coastline.”
“We are excited that these advancements in technology exist and would like to thank the WoW! Programme of the Western Cape Provincial Government who have so generously made this equipment available to us to improve the lives of those who depend on wheelchairs for mobility. Not only will make the beach more enjoyable for those with a disability/differently-abled, but it will also add value to mothers with baby strollers and the elderly.”
This project is being piloted at Muizenberg Beach which is the City’s flagship differently-abled-friendly beach. Muizenberg has demarcated parking for the disabled, ramps, hand railings, ablution facilities and an amphibious wheelchair, which helps those with a disability to submerge directly into the water.
“This specialised mat enables people using wheelchairs, and other aids for mobility, independent ease of access to the beach. The launch of the mat marks another step forwards towards co-creating inclusive healthy-lifestyle enabling environments. We are grateful to our partner, OCAL Global, for the support in procuring the Mobi-Mat” said Dr Frederick Marais, Deputy Director: Increasing Wellness at the Western Cape Government.
For enquiries about universal access along the coast, contact the City’s Coastal Coordination Unit at email@example.com.
For enquiries about the WoW! Healthy Lifestyles Programme, email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org