The Qhubeka community, including municipal government, corporate sponsors, schools and community policing forums are working together to help 300 people move forward in Alex and surrounds, with bicycles.
Through a community public-private partnership between City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Qhubeka, Volkswagen South Africa and local schools and community policing forums (CPF) in Alexandra informal settlement, an entire community is beginning to experience how bicycles change lives. School children from Realogile High School and members of the Alexandra CPF received 260 bicycles, while a further 40 bicycles will be distributed to Sandton Patrollers at the Johannesburg SMT bridge launch on the 19 June (a total of 300 bicycles).
Of these bicycles, 200 have been funded by CoJ, and 100 have been match-funded through Volkswagen SA. “Our 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,” says Qhubeka Executive Director Tsatsi Phaweni.
“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 has 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.”
Last year, more than 90 bicycles were distributed to school children, health workers and CPF community members in Alexandra. “We’re so pleased that the partnership between the organisations has enabled us to give back, once again, to this deserving community,” says Meredith Kelly, Marketing Manager of Volkswagen Group South Africa. “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.”
A bicycle mechanic has been trained in Alexandra to provide maintenance and services to the bicycles when required, which has created a new microenterprise opportunity.
Text & Images: Supplied