GIBB Reference Number: J31265


Client: Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (COH WHS) Management Authority (MA)


Cycling as an outdoor and leisure activity has grown significantly in recent years and the COH WHS MA has identified the need to better plan for and manage this activity in the COH WHS, to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value of the site is not negatively affected. 


The study entails primarily determining the need, desirability and feasibility of providing a core MTB network within the existing provincial road reserve in the COH WHS area, as the unused edges of this government-owned and managed land is considered an unexplored opportunity to provide for the growing demand for MTB trails. It is hoped that the core network will be catalytic in the creation of additional supporting trail loops by the private sector on private property that will add character and technical challenge to the core system, expanding the options available for hosting events.


The trail system, if implemented in a sustainable way, can address the following objectives:


·         Address the increasing demand for safer recreational cycling facilities, enhancing this  area as the cycling destination of choice;

·         Adding to the Outstanding Universal Value of the site by improving the visitor experience, and creating opportunities for more “Green Tourism” initiatives with all its associated benefits to the local communities;

·         Sustainable job creation through trail construction and on-going maintenance; and

·         Minimise conflict between road and MTB cyclists, other road users and property owners and residents.


Arcus GIBB (Pty) Ltd (GIBB) has been appointed as the consulting engineers to undertake the feasibility study.  In determining the feasibility and developing the guidelines for sustainable best practice design parameters, the team will be considering the following:


·         the physical, technical and legal requirements for a successful system (such as the provincial road engineering requirements, the technical requirements for a high quality MTB trail, the extent of the network and how it links to key destinations);

·         the current and potential future demand and use patterns (through surveys);

·         costs and benefits; and

·         the soft issues, such as the need for engagement with land owners, meeting environmental requirements, and how to optimise labour intensive practices to maximise job creation both in the construction and maintenance phases.




Link to online survey


Link to stakeholder registration