What better way to end the first month of the year than with our first #NewBikeDay for 2019! Having raised more funds than we were targeting for 2018, it’s exciting to be able to start the year off with a big bicycle distribution.
Today, 150 schoolchildren at Lofentse Girls High School in Gauteng and 200 at Worcester Secondary School in the Western Cape will receive brand new Qhubeka Bicycles that will help them to get to and from school more easily. Also in Gauteng, 43 members of the Soweto Community Policing Forum will receive bicycles to help them with visible and regular safety patrols in the neighbourhood, helping to create a safer community for all.
The children receiving bicycles are part of Qhubeka’s learn-to-earn programmes and are receiving the bicycles in return for committing to improving their school attendance and academic results.
“It’s wonderful to be able to distribute 350 bicycles so early in the school year, which ensures learners will have the benefit of being able to travel faster and carry their schoolbooks more easily from today,” says Qhubeka Executive Director Tsatsi Phaweni. “We are grateful to our partners for funding these bicycles. All of the donors and sponsors responsible for funding the bicycles being distributed today have been involved with us over the long term and they share our belief that bicycles change lives. Our partnerships have also demonstrated the value of public private partnerships. Together, we can make a sustainable impact.”
The Lofentse Girls High Bicycles were funded by City of Johannesburg and Deloitte (75 bicycles each), the Soweto CPF bicycles were funded by Volkswagen South Africa and the Worcester Secondary School were funded by Team Dimension Data and its supporters through the 2018 Bicycles Change Lives campaign.
Qhubeka Bicycles are produced by Real Bicycle Co. (RBC), Qhubeka’s design and manufacturing subsidiary, which is in the process of scaling from a small-scale to medium-scale manufacturer in 2019. “We are thrilled to see the fruits of developing RBC,” says Phaweni. “We’ve been issued our SADC Certificate of Origin, which certifies that our bicycles meet the requirements of being manufactured in South Africa. This gives us the advantage of trading within the SADC region without incurring import duties, which helps to keep costs lower. It’s been a long journey to get to the point that we’re ready to start scaling, but we are excited for what this year and the future hold.”