Qhubeka Buffalo bicycles are assembled in South Africa by rural communities as part of our enterprise development initiative. We have an assembly plant in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, and recently established another in Groot Marico, in the North West province.
Colin Cooper is involved with the Madikwe Rural Development Program (MRDP) where the new factory is based, which also creates the beaded bracelets that are sold to benefit Qhubeka and create employment for local women. He sent us this photo of the new factory now that the roof has been put on:
“We are adding a “wing’ on each side as well to give us 500m2,” says Colin. “We still have the use of the other farm buildings, which gives us another 500m2. The guy on the left is Hendrik, who works on the farm next door. We discovered he used to build wheels before so we ‘borrowed’ him to train all our wheel guys. The middle guy is Nicholas who works on mudguard assembly. He is also a builder and will be throwing the concrete floor shortly. The guy on the right is Thapelo who used to be the MRDP gardener and is now proving a great success as the final inspector. He is also revealing talents as a manager, so we will progress with him in that direction.”
Colin adds that the assembly team works well together. “We have no manager or foreman or supervisors; they decide as a group what to do,” he says. “Yesterday we had a problem as one of the wheel lacers had to go to the doctor. This slows down production, so off their own bat, they all decided to work an extra hour to make their target of 50 bicycles for the day. Quite remarkable!”