Earlier this month, 324 school pupils from several Magaliesburg Schools were overcome with excitement as they received bicycles as part of an Eco Programme reward. Through a partnership between Qhubeka and Wildlands, 1 800 bicycles will be distributed to school pupils across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape over the next few months.
“The bicycles are a reward for participation in an Eco Programme, which involves activities such as community and river clean-ups, the propagation of indigenous plants required for restoration, and environmental education,” said Dr Roelie Kloppers, Wildlands’ Director. “The schools are also required to barter 200 indigenous trees with Wildlands for the bicycles, so it is a win-win for us as an environmental organisation, as well as for the pupils.”
Mogale City’s Executive Mayor, Councillor Lynn Pannall and Deputy Chairperson of Child Welfare in Magaliesburg, Pinky Selebogi, were in attendance at the bicycle distribution. “This has been a collective effort, made possible through Wildlands, Qhubeka, Nedbank, the Mogale City Council, the Magaliesburg Business Forum and the Management Development Institution,” said Selebogi. “These students can now cover longer distances and collect more recyclables, which they can then load on to their bikes.”
“Bicycles are a cost efficient and effective way of addressing some of South Africa’s great challenges – mobility and environmental change,” says Sarah Phaweni, Qhubeka Executive Director. “Through the Eco Programme, we are able to make positive steps towards creating a better world. We salute all the learners and schools who have participated in earning a bicycle through improving the environment.”
Local schools that have participated and benefited from the programme include (Grade 8 – 12 pupils):
- Magaliesburg Secondary School
- Magaliesburg State School
- Madiba Comprehensive School
- Bekker Hoerskool
- Ithuteng Secondary School
- Ahmed Timol Secondary School
Wildlands also used this opportunity to barter bicycles with 26 Waste-preneurs based in Magaliesburg. “Waste-preneur” is the term used to describe green entrepreneurs who collect waste and barter the waste for livelihood support items. This is an existing project model pioneered by Wildlands called ‘Recycling for Life’ that has been uplifting communities and changing lives for several years.
The next bicycle handover is set to take place in the Western-Cape on 14 October, distributing more than 250 bicycles, followed by a distribution of 100 bicycles in Dobsonville, Soweto on 3 November.