Changing lives one ride at a time

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Learners from Qhubeka community in Alexandra will now be able to get to school faster and timeously, thanks to the distribution of 260 bicycles to Realogile High School learners.

Through a community public private partnership between City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Qhubeka community, Volkswagen South Africa, local schools and Community Policing Forums (CPF) in Alexandra informal settlement, an entire community is beginning to experience how bicycles change lives.

On Thursday, 260 bicycles were distributed to schoolchildren from Realogile High School and members of the Alexandra CPF. A further 40 bicycles are expected to be distributed to Sandton Patrollers at the Johannesburg SMT bridge launch on 19 June 2018.

Of these bicycles, 200 have been funded by CoJ, and 100 have been match-funded through Volkswagen SA.

Qhubeka Executive Director Tsatsi Phaweni said the ongoing partnership with CoJ is part of a far-reaching bicycle programme in the region, which has included constructing bicycle lanes and funding bicycles to help schoolchildren and adults with personal transport.

“These bicycles will help schoolchildren to get to school more quickly and regularly, while those for the CPF and patrollers will assist with more visible and effective security patrols, boosting the safety for everyone in the community.

“We are thankful to the City for the continued support, as well as to Volkswagen SA – one of our long-term corporate supporters who have helped us to distribute bicycles to schools across the country. When we all work together, we can help to shift entire communities forward, purely thanks to improved personal transport, which is a lever to access opportunities,” said Phaweni.

Last year, more than 90 bicycles were distributed to schoolchildren, including health workers and CPF community members in Alexandra.

Volkswagen Group South Africa Marketing Manager, Meredith Kelly said they are so pleased that the partnership between the organisations has enabled Volkswagen to give back, once again to the deserving community.

“Through partnerships like this one, we continue to see invaluable examples of how bicycles can help to transform communities. We hope to not only mobilise South African communities, but help ensure a better future for all who live in the country,” Kelly said.

Meanwhile, a bicycle mechanic has been trained in Alexandra to provide maintenance and services to the bicycles when required, which has created a new micro enterprise opportunity. –