Almost 360 pupils from a high school in Joburg’s Alexandra township that has achieved a high matric pass rate for two years running have received bicycles as part of a project to expand the mobility – and thus the productivity – of ordinary South Africans.
The township was identified for the Urban Scholar Bicycle project because of the transport corridor that exists between itself and Sandton. Pupils at Kwabhekilanga Secondary School were chosen as recipients following the school achieved high matric pass rates in 2014 and 2015.
The bikes were donated by AutoTrader, the nonprofit Qhubeka and the City of Johannesburg; Dimension Data is also a financial partner in the project.
In the video below, “How Bicycles Change Lives”, Qhubeka – which has delivered more than 60,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to people across South Africa since it was set up in 2005 – explains that every 500 bikes create two new technician jobs, traders can carry five times more, families travel four times further, learners travel three times further, two technicians are trained for every 500 bikes.
The USB project was set up to provide schoolchildren with improved mobility and a safe method of transport to and from school, which, in turn, boosts their academic performance.
Each pupil who receives a bicycle commits to its safe use and storage and makes a nominal financial contribution that is used by the school to fund the training of a bicycle mechanic. The bicycles are owned by the school until the beneficiaries complete their schooling and all contract terms are met. The bicycles can then be used by a new class of achievers the following year.
In this video Qhubeka explains how bicycles can change lives:
— Qhubeka™ (@Qhubeka) June 28, 2016
A bicycle changes lives by increasing the distance a person can travel, what they can carry, where they can go & how fast they can get there
— Qhubeka™ (@Qhubeka) June 29, 2016
In July, Qhubeka will hold its 5000 charity drive. Riders, both novice and professional, are urged to ride a distance that will contribute to the group’s #BicyclesChangeLives campaign. For every kilometre covered, sponsors will contribute to funding 5 000 bicycles for pupils around South Africa. The drive will be held on 15 and 16 July, and will coincide with Team Dimension Data’s participation in the 2016 Tour de France.