The Fairtree Imperial Cannondale Racing Team. Picture: supplied.
The Fairtree Imperial Cannondale Racing Team. Picture: supplied.

Trails SA project: Safe walking trails set to be a hit with Cape tourists

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Nov 25, 2021

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Cape Town - International business enterprise Imperial Group, in partnership with non-profit company Trails South Africa (Trails SA), has officially unveiled the first section of a planned 6000km trail network in the Western Cape.

The planned innovative project was initiated to develop an adventure tourist network in South Africa, linking existing trails to create a network of walkable paths that would provide safe walking trails for adventurous pedestrians within connecting communities.

“Supported by the Western Cape government, the project was also designed to revitalise the tourism industry, bringing back much-needed revenue into host communities.

Imperial Group CEO Mohammed Akoojee said: “When we set out on our partnership with Trails SA to support the development of these trails to connect communities safely and give residents employment opportunities, we envisioned a network of trails that is underpinned by empowerment and community development.

“As a purpose-driven organisation, we are committed to creating and sustaining value in our countries of operation, including developing the communities in which we operate.

“We are delighted to see that this initiative is already delivering on our vision so soon after its inception.”

Currently, the complete phase of the Trails SA project links trails between communities in the Banhoek Conservancy to Idas Valley, Paarl and Franschhoek, as well as trails in Stellenbosch, to those in Idas Valley.

Trails SA Co-founder Reghard Goussard said: “We have linked 3 800km of trails, employing over 100 people, and hundreds of businesses on the route have started benefiting from the trails.

“The economic multiplier effect of this project in the community is significant, with the wages received being used to buy other essential goods and services from small, local businesses.”

In commemorating the launch of the first phase of the project, Premier Alan Winde commended Imperial and Trails SA for going above and beyond to connect communities through the linking of trails.

Fairtree Imperial Cannondale Racing Team, team manager Chris Norton said: “The team is a positive example of how sport has the power to unite communities and change individual circumstances, as it has done with these incredible riders.”

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