#NewBikeDay for schoolchildren, vegetable gardeners and community policing volunteers

Today, Qhubeka, the charity that moves people forward with bicycles, distributed 580 bicycles in four different locations. The recipients are schoolchildren who are part of learn-to-earn programmes in the Western Cape and Gauteng, as well as adults who are part of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Impilo Household Vegetable Garden Establishment and Grey Water Harvesting Project and Community Policing Forum (CFP) volunteers in Soweto, Gauteng.

At Masiphumelele High School in Cape Town, 100 schoolchildren received bicycles funded by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Africa’s first World Tour cycling team. In Plettenberg Bay, bicycles were distributed to 170 learners at Murray High School.

“The Plettenberg distribution was bitter sweet for us,” says Tsatsi Phaweni, Qhubeka Executive Director. “Our programme there was initiated by Jan Rossouw, who passed away suddenly earlier this month. Our team is devasted by his loss, but we see this bicycle distribution as a reminder of the wonderful work Jan did, and the programme as a great tribute to his character.”

In Gauteng, 240 bicycles were distributed to Bona Comprehensive and Selelekela (100 each)  schools in Orlando, Soweto, and 40 to members of the local CPF. The bicycles were funded by Volkswagen South Africa and are part of a Qhubeka SHIFT programme in the region, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg.

Qhubeka SHIFT programmes are aimed at shifting an entire community forward using bicycles, creating a new bicycle culture and transforming communities through the power of personal transport. Qhubeka SHIFT programmes aim to distribute 5 000 bicycles into a single geographic region over a period of a few years.

In Paarl, in the Western Cape, 70 bicycles were distributed to adults involved in creating food gardens through the Impilo Household Vegetable Garden Establishment and Grey Water Harvesting Project of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Great Commission Networks (GCN) NPC.

“The bicycles, funded by Nederburg, will help the gardeners involved in this programme to be more mobile,” says Phaweni. “The recipients will use them to help tend their gardens and take their veggies to market to sell. The programme is being implemented in targeted communities in the Cape Winelands district (in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek), and in the Cape Metropole district (in Bonteheuwel and Gugulethu).”

The programme participants also receive a starter kit from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture through Casidra (Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas), which includes a hoe, rake, watering can, grey water harvesting and irrigation system, organic compost, fertiliser, and vegetable seedlings and seeds.