The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department, in partnership with the Western Cape Health Department, yesterday rolled out its first universal access mat at Muizenberg beach.
In celebration of International Wheelchair Day on 1 March 2020, the City’s Recreation and Parks Department in partnership with the Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) Partnership Programme of the Western Cape Government, launched a universal access beach mat at Muizenberg Beach.
The universal access mat or Mobi-Mat, is environmentally friendly, as it is made from 100% recycled polyester.
The lightweight creates easy access for wheelchairs, baby prams, walking chairs and persons with walking aids within minutes.
The length of the mat is approximately 50m and cost R390 000 to procure. The installation of the Mobi-Mat is expected to 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 Provincial Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
This project is being piloted at Muizenberg Beach which is the City’s flagship differently-abled-friendly beach, with 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.
The beach mat will now undergo a series of tests as part of the pilot project, and will only be available for public use once all legal documentation has been finalised.