Easier ride for Eastern Cape pupils

2015-05-31 15:00
(Pic supplied, Volkswagen)

(Pic supplied, Volkswagen)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nkonkobe – Pupils living in the rural Eastern Cape have received bicycles to help them travel to school and back, through an initiative between Volkswagen and its partners Qhubeka, World Vision South Africa and World Vision Switzerland.

It is estimated that of the 17 million children in school in South Africa, 11 million of them walk to school each day. Nearly 500 000 of these learners have to walk for more than an hour, or up to 12km each day, just to get to school.

Volkswagen handed over the 600 bicycles to the learners of 11 rural schools in the Nkonkobe district in Eastern Cape as part of the Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme (BEEP). They also handed out 500 bicycles to nine rural schools in Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal in April.

BEEP was started in 2009 in Zambia by World Bicycle Relief. They found bicycles as a safe, reliable and affordable mode of transportation for the learners. The initiative was introduced to South Africa in 2013 by Qhubeka in partnership with World Vision South Africa, and has seen 8 100 bicycles already distributed across five provinces.

Each benefiting learner receives a bicycle with a helmet, spanner, combination lock and pump. The learner and parents or guardian are required to sign a contract which stipulates the terms and conditions of using the bicycle. A Bicycle Supervisory Committee is also setup at each recipient school and represented by teachers, SGB (student governing body) members and parents. The Bicycle Supervisory Committee’s role is to not only select beneficiaries but also enforce the two-year service-to-own contract which governs the use of the bicycle.

The bicycle becomes the personal property of the learner after the two years.

“Education is one of our key pillars in our quest to be a company with meaning and impact under the banner of Volkswagen for Good,” said Thomas Schaefer, Managing Director: Volkswagen Group South Africa.

Schaefer said through the partnership with Qhubeka and World Vision South Africa Volkswagen sought to make a small difference but with big impact on the lives of learners living in rural communities.

“We are very hopeful that these bicycles will change the learners’ approach to their schooling and encourage them to work harder to be the best that they want to be,” he said.

Executive Director of Qhubeka, Sarah Phaweni, said distance no longer needed to be a barrier to education for 1 100 school children in Nkonkobe and Umzimkhulu. 

“With BEEP we can make an immediate difference to school attendance as well as improve children’s wellbeing with reliable and affordable transportation,” she said.

The cost of one bicycle is R2 320, and cost covers amongst other things component manufacturing, delivery, helmet, training of the field mechanic as well as ADP’s monitoring and evaluation programme. 

Read more on:    good news

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.