Life Cycle, South Africa

Project Location

Cape Town, South Africa

Project Duration and Start

4 Years, 2011-2014

Project Sponsor(s)

TUI Swiss

Project Description

The project "Life Cycle" allows residents of townships in Cape Town to literally receive "a new life from cycling." Futouris member TUI Swiss has sponsored the training and development of bicycle guides and tours. In addition, funding has also been provided to purchase touring bicycles to provide to tourists wishing to experience the bicycle tour. As such, the tour guides can generate a sustainable source of income from the tours, reinvest in the business as needed, and provide for themselves and their families.

The Western Cape region around Cape Town today enjoys popularity around the world. A variety of scenic and cultural attractions enriches the lives of 5.2 million people around the mesa. The local economy is somewhat diverse, particularly in agriculture (especially the cultivation of wine, olives and fruit), a tertiary sector dominated by high-tech industry and the tourism sector.  Despite this diversity, the economic situation of many local residents is extremely precarious. Approximately 30 percent of the province's population is unemployed. There is a large disparity in income between locals and foreigners and a high rate of homelessness and HIV characterize social life in many parts of the region.

The aim of the project "Life Cycle" is to create a safe and sustainable workplace for people from the region. The local bicycle tour operator AWOL Tours integrates young people into their team of professional cycling guides. In conjunction with BEN bicycle mechanic training, the trainees learn to autonomously organize bicycle tours and how to market themselves to tourists. The "Cape Town Cycle Tour" also provides a method of climate-neutral sightseeing around the capital.

Project Objectives

Target 1:

  • Development a sustainable tour product with a commitment to long-term improvement of sustainable urban tourism in the region around Cape Town.

Target 2:

  • Training and qualification of bike guides with the aim of achieving permanent employment.
  • Increase cultural and environmental awareness of the unique fauna and flora of Cape Town.

Target 3:

  • Acquire new bicycles suited to sustain the tour business in order to protect jobs and promote the region as a center for eco-tourism.


Project Partner / Coordinator

Project Organization: AWOL Tours

Local Partner: Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) South Africa

Project Coordinator: Sally Petersen