Today, 108 Qhubeka Bicycles were distributed to members of the Orlando community, including schoolchildren, YMCA volunteers and members of the local Community Policing Forum (CPF).
The distribution was part of a Qhubeka and City of Johannesburg (CoJ) programme – an ongoing initiative in the city that has seen bicycles distributed into various communities within Alexandra and Orlando, primarily to schoolchildren. The bicycles were funded by Dimension Data, the title sponsor of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka (Africa’s first UCI registered World Tour cycling team), Qhubeka’s fundraisers, most of whom raised funds by riding the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge in 2016, and CoJ, which offers match-funding (Rand-for-Rand) through its partnership with Qhubeka.
“Today’s distribution is special because we have such a wide range of people receiving bicycles,” says Tsatsi Phaweni, Executive Director at Qhubeka. “They will all benefit from them in different ways. Schoolchildren from Selelekela High School and Orlando High School will be able to get to school more quickly. The CPF will be able to patrol more effectively, thus boosting security in the area. YMCA volunteers will be able to travel more easily and carry more supplies when doing their voluntary work. It’s a great example of the many ways that bicycles can help to change and improve people’s lives. We’re grateful to our partners and fundraisers for helping to make this bicycle distribution a possibility.”
“We’re immensely proud of our partnership with Qhubeka,” says Ruth Rowan, Group Marketing Executive, Dimension Data. “The work that they do is inspiring, and it resonates so strongly with our employees across the globe. We truly believe that a pair of wheels can make a world of difference, and it’s such a privilege to witness it firsthand on a day like today.”
Orlando has been identified by CoJ as a region that will benefit from bicycles – partially because of the recently constructed cycle lanes in Soweto, funded by the German industrial bank. For this reason, multiple bicycle distributions have taken place with the aim of building a cycling culture. A local bicycle mechanic previously received a Qhubeka Bicycle, as well as training in basic business skills and bicycle maintenance. This will help to ensure that the bicycles will be maintained and remain useable well into the future.
Here’s a video filmed by SABC News from the event: