For a long time, Qhubeka imported bicycle components from abroad, but we are excited to share with you that we’ve begun the process of working to ensure that our Qhubeka Bicycles will be designed, manufactured and assembled locally in South Africa. Click to Tweet.
Real Bicycle Co. is a fully owned subsidiary of Qhubeka and will supply our bicycles. This allows us to create jobs, boost skills development, have control of our entire parts supply chain and achieve best-in-class specification-to-cost ratio.
Real Bicycle Co. also provides a new revenue stream for Qhubeka, helping us to ensure long-term sustainability, and gives us room to partner with enterprise development funders. The company’s vision is to create the best commuter bicycles in Africa, for supply locally and globally.
South Africa once had a proud history of bicycle manufacturing and used to produce more than 500 000 bicycles a year during the heydays of the 1980s. While mass production eventually moved to Asia in pursuit of greater cost efficiencies, we hope to help “reshore” bicycle manufacturing to South Africa through Real Bicycle Co.
Now that the Real Bicycle Co. manufacturing facility is up and running in the Eastern Cape, Mzi Mafohla (who heads up Qhubeka’s mechanic-training initiatives) is visiting our assembly facilities to provide training on assembling the new bicycles using the locally-made frames.
Here are some photos from the Nederburg assembly facility, where Mzi was demonstrating the assembly process to the Bicycles And Beyond team. Also present was Qhubeka founder Anthony Fitzhenry. The Bicycles And Beyond team then assembled the first 50 Qhubeka Bicycles, ready for distribution.
We look forward to sharing more Real Bicycle Co. updates with you soon!