Transport dept donates bikes to schools
Johannesburg - A total of 769 bicycles have been given to schools in the Thembisile Hani Municipality for use by pupils, the Mpumalanga transport department said on Thursday.
"It is very sad that a learner travels more than 3km to school and on arrival you find that the learners are tired and cannot focus in class," Transport MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu said.
"As government, we want to put an end to this suffering. We want you to arrive in school ready to study."
Mahlangu was addressing about 700 schoolchildren at the donation ceremony on Wednesday, her department said in a statement.
The bicycles were donated as part of the government's initiative to ensure that pupils arrived at school on time.
Mahlangu told the children and their parents that the bicycles were school property and not for personal use. She said when a child was no longer a pupil at the school, the bicycle would have to remain there.
"The bicycles are not meant for pleasure. We do not want to see learners racing with the bicycles after school hours," Mahlangu said.
"Parents must not use the bicycles as their transport mode and find that the learner is now walking to school again," she said.
The department also donated four animal-drawn carts to the community to transport water and wood. This was part of a nationwide project to address mobility within rural areas.