Every year in October, South Africa celebrates National Transport Month. Transport is a fundamental element of development and this year’s Transport Month theme is “Together we move South Africa forward”. As you may know, Qhubeka means “to move forward”, so we’re definitely onboard for highlighting the need for transport and the role it can play in South Africa, particularly when it comes to bicycles. Bicycles are an affordable, environmentally friendly, reliable form of transport that can give people access to mobility and, in turn, opportunity.
Our goal is to continue to mobilise more people with bicycles to help them to move forward and progress with their goals and dreams. Unfortunately, transport remains an issue for many people living in South Africa:
- According to the South African National Household Travel Survey (2013) over 60% of schoolchildren indicating they walk to school are in the lowest income quintile.
- ‘Walking all the way’ is the primary means scholars travel to educational institutions in South Africa.
- 63.4% (11 million) learners walk to their educational institutions.
- 68.8% (8 million) of primary and secondary school learners’ main form of transportation to school is walking.
- 5.5% of scholars travel more than 60 minutes to their educational institution; 27.5% travel more than 30 min.
- One in five workers in South Africa walks all the way to work (3 million people).
- 17.1% of workers who use public transport have to make more than one transfer to reach work.
- 22.1% of workers leave before 6am to reach their place of work.
- Only 2.3% of workers receive a travel allowance from their employer.
- Compared to 2003, more households in the metropolitan areas travelled more than 60 minutes to get to all types of facilities in 2013.
There is hope, however. And it travels on two wheels.
In our Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme (BEEP) in the Eastern Cape, where children use a bicycle to get to school:
- There was a threefold decrease in children reporting it took more than 1 -2 hours to travel to school (76% to 26%)
- The number of children traveling for less than an hour to school increased from 11% to 73%
- There was a 36% decrease in children reporting they feel vulnerable when traveling to school (41% to 5%)
- Those reporting they feel ‘safe’ more than doubled (23% to 52%)
- Children reporting they feel ‘very safe’ increased from 16% to 39%
Furthermore, with a bicycle:
- Entrepreneurs can travel up to four times further in the same time
- People can carry up to five times more goods
- Commute time is cut by up to 75%
More than 50 000 bicycles have been distributed by Qhubeka since 2005, and you can help us change more lives with bicycles. By donating towards our programmes, through which people can earn a bicycle through improving their communities, the environment or their academics, you can assist us in mobilising more people with bicycles.