Plan to make Cape Town buses safer for women

UN Women examines ways to improve safety at bus stations

The United Nations (UN) is collaborating with Cape Town to help improve the safety of women on the city's buses.

The UN is funding a R200,000 study to investigate how to make MyCiTi bus stops and stations less dangerous for women. The study will focus on stations in Atlantis, a disadvantaged district in Cape Town which suffers from high rates of gender-based violence.

Central to the team's study is whether there is adequate lighting at bus stations, if special pathways should be created for MyCiTi commuters, and the role of neighbourhood watch schemes in improving safety.Cape Town will use the findings to make other bus stations around the city more secure.

The plan was announced by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the former vice-president of South Africa and currently executive director of UN Women, the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Mlambo-Ngcuka called for a grass-roots movement – similar to the fight against apartheid – for gender-based violence to be viewed as “morally and politically contempible.”