Bicycles for schools

Free Two-wheelers for three Soweto schools
Nie Cele

Tswarello Monyane

Late coming and absenteeism in some schools might become a thing of the past. Thanks to the 293 sponsored bicycles to learners in three high schools in Orlando, Soweto.
The much needed two -wheelers were donated by Dimension Data in partnership with the City of Johannesburg.
Both organizations unanimously agreed that this was done to combat frequent absenteeism and exhaustion experienced by learners walking to school in the area.
The recipient schools are Noordgesig Secondary , Orlando High and Bona Comprehensive School. They were selected by the City of Joburg, which has been working closely with the Department of Transport over recent months, as well as the schools governing bodies and principals to set up sustainable bicycle distribution programme in the area.
Futhermore these learners were selected on the basis of the distance they travel to and from school each day.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Orlando Communal Hall, Dimension Data, Executive Director, Public Sector, Lubabalo Dyanti, said, “In this region some leaners walk for more than 60 minutes or over 6km to get to school . By the time they arrive, they are exhausted. Distance to school is a barrier that can be eliminated by using bicycles. With the bicycle we are donating to the learners , their time spent travelling to school will be reduced by up to 75%.”
Dyanti also pointed out that donating was a purpose of making a difference by extending it to the society where they operate.
“As a technology company, we feel passionate about improving learners’ access to information technology within the education system. One way of doing this is to ensure that they have the means to get to school,” He said.
Gauteng Road and Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, a keen cyclist who met his wife while cycling, told the audience that this was a wonderful initiative by the City. “This was a great way to promote cycling. I trust that cycling will become a way of life in the province.”
Vadi also highlighted that he hoped to see bicycles becoming a mode of transport in the province.
“It will be a great day to have a cycling team in a school one day. It will be a great day when we have an inter school championship one day,” Vadi said.
He also urged the learners to ride their bicycles responsibly.
Busi Luthuli, from the Education department said, “The bicycles would help the learners get to school on time and cut absenteeism.”

Nompumelelo Malinga, a grade 9 learner at the Noordgesig High School also added her voice and said “ Late coming and absenteeism will be history.”
Raymond Rampolekeng, of Bhoni4Kasi, said, “The Soweto cycling scene is changing and we aim to be pioneers of this change.”
He also revealed that his organization’s main focus is to introduce cycling and creating club structures in and around Soweto.
“This will Include focusing on bike riding skills development projects for schools, encouraging school cycling as a form of transport, furthering road signage understanding and responsible cycling, greening the community, advocating for cycling infrastructure in the communities, bicycle recycling and upcycling, bicycle tours and bicycle birding.”
Did you know?
Extra 15 bicycles were donated to Orlando Policing Forum.
Bicycles are worth R800 000 in total.
• Dimension Data is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability and entrepreuneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients.
• Bhoni4kasi was founded in 2004 by professional mechanics and cyclists. Over the years, more people have joined the organization, which aims to address cycling problems primarily in Soweto.
• Through This organization collaboration , Soweto’s two first ever UCI Level 1qualified cycling coaches are currently training the 344 learners on bicycle safety and maintenance.
• Qhubeka is a nguni word that means ‘to progress’ “to move forward”. Qhubeka is a World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa.

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