Yesterday (23 February), 40 learners at the Ocean View High School near Kommetjie received bicycles provided by the Pedal Power Association (PPA), Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) and Qhubeka.
The three organisations are united by their efforts to promote bicycle use in South Africa and are thus working together to increase their impact and reach. This is demonstrated today at Ocean View High School – each of the three organisations is responsible for funding a portion of the bicycles.
BEN initially agreed to provide 10 bicycles to the school as part of an existing programme. PPA then offered to match the BEN contribution, donating an additional 10 bicycles. Finally, Qhubeka came on board to match the total contribution, bringing the number of bicycles to 40.
Of the bicycles, 20 are the tried-and-tested Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles, and the remaining half of the bicycles are the brand new #bike4all – the product of a new collaboration between BEN and PPA. These simple, robust, yet stylish bicycles have been designed for both commuting and recreation, and the Ocean View High learners are the first to receive these new bicycles.
“At BEN we are very excited about the spirit of collaboration between BEN, Qhubeka and PPA, which is building up momentum,” says Tim Mosdell, General Manager of BEN. “This project shows how much more we can achieve by combining our efforts – it’s a classic illustration of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. In the end, it’s not about any single organisation, but rather the impact that we are making on the lives of those we empower. The Ocean View Secondary School bike distribution is just the start of many things to come from our collaborative efforts.”
Robert Vogel, PPA CEO, notes that with the launch of the Bike4All, PPA continues to deliver on its mandate to put more people on bicycles. “We are looking forward to collaborating with BEN and Qhubeka, cementing the relationship further and providing mobility and access to opportunities, through bicycles, together,” he says. “The Ocean View bicycle distribution shows what is possible and it is very exciting to see what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal.”
“We are delighted to partner with PPA and BEN to help connect more learners with bicycles today,” says Ian Mills, Regional Manager at Qhubeka. “We are all passionate about the fact that bicycles can change lives. Our combined hope is that these learners will soon be sharing stories with us of how the bicycles have made their lives better, whether it’s by helping them get to school more quickly and easily, saving them money on public transport or providing them with a fun way to socialise and exercise. By working together, Qhubeka, PPA and BEN can help more people to enjoy the benefits that bicycles bring and we look forward to developing this three-way partnership.”
In preparation for the distribution of the bicycles, two learners from Ocean View High School underwent a preventative bicycle maintenance course at BEN to help ensure the long-term viability of the bicycles. Every learner who received a bicycle has also undergone safety training through the PPA/BEN ‘Cool Kid on a Bike’ course.
Qhubeka uses bicycles to move communities forward. We partner with the community, public sector, private sector, and non-profit organisations to develop our programmes, which focus on providing people with bicycles in return for working to improve their community, environment or school attendance.
Through your support, Qhubeka uses bicycles to connect families to schools, clinics and job opportunities. Communities with limited transport have restricted options, but bicycles are tools of change. With access to transport comes a connection to opportunities.
That’s why Qhubeka’s name is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward” – because bicycles help people to travel faster, further, carry more, be fitter and access more options.
About Pedal Power Association
Founded in 1976, the PPA is a Public Benefit Organisation committed to promoting cycling and the interests of cyclists. Recreational cycling (on- and off-road), development through cycling, safe cycling and advocacy are among the PPA’s priorities.
The Pedal Power Association is the largest recreational cycling organisation in South Africa. It has some 16 000 paid-up members; the largest component being in the Western Cape where the Association has its headquarters.
About Bicycle Empowerment Network
BEN’s overall objective is to promote sustainable social and economic empowerment through the use of bicycles. We do this by ensuring a reliable supply of donated and affordable bicycles to disadvantaged communities and institutions.
To do this we have to secure an ongoing stream of donated bikes from our donor partners. We distribute these bikes via various projects and through Bicycling Empowerment Centres (BECs), entrepreneur-based businesses that we help to set up in our target communities. We ensure that beneficiaries can maintain their bikes and that they know how to ride safely. BEN also engages with decision makers and stakeholders to ensure that Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) is properly integrated into transport planning.