Dimension Data, in partnership with the City of Jo’burg and Qhubeka, today delivers 55 brand new Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles to high school students in Orlando, Soweto. The bicycle distribution is part of the ongoing Urban Scholar Bicycle Programme – a partnership between City of Jo’burg and Qhubeka, which aligns with the city’s goals of sustainable development and Qhubeka’s vision of building communities of excellence powered by bicycles.
In 2015, City of Jo’burg identified Orlando as an area in which to distribute bicycles after having constructed dedicated cycle lanes in the area, sponsored by the German KfW Development Bank. The school in Orlando – Noordgesig Secondary School – was selected by the regional councillors of the City of Joburg as part of the city’s plans to create a cycling-friendly city and to reduce traffic congestion in the city. The city has already distributed some 330 bicycles into the area through matching funds provided by private sector sponsors. Dimension Data, in partnership with the City of Jo’burg and Qhubeka, has already sponsored 344 bicycles to learners at three high schools in Orlando, Soweto.
The 55 bicycles being distributed today were funded by five Dimension Data cycling teams who participated in the 2015 Absa Cape Epic. These teams were made up of Dimension Data employees who not only trained and rode the Absa Cape Epic but also raised funds for bicycles for schoolchildren to ride to school.
Grant Bodley, CEO Dimension Data Middle East and Africa said, “At Dimension Data, we are passionate about education and the power it has to change lives and transform society. Through this partnership with Qhubeka, we can ensure that more children remain in school and are able to realise their ambitions.”
The Urban Scholar Bicycle Programme has been developed through collaboration by the City of Jo’burg, the Department of Transport, school principals and school governing bodies, South African Police, Community Police Forum and Qhubeka. Learners considered for the programme are required to meet certain qualifying criteria to be able to receive a Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle. Recipients are chosen according to their need and are required to make a small financial contribution towards bicycle maintenance, provided by Qhubeka-trained and certified bicycle field mechanics.
“Qhubeka is an Nguni words that means “to progress”, and we really believe that these bicycles will help their new owners to progress at school and in life,” says Qhubeka Executive Director Sarah Phaweni. “We are thankful to City of Jo’burg and Dimension Data for partnering with us to help change these schoolchildren’s lives for the better with bicycles.”
Dimension Data is the title sponsor of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Africa’s first World Tour cycling team, and is thus supporting the team’s #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, which aims to raise funds for 5 000 bicycles for Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief programme recipients during 2016. The 2015 #BicyclesChangeLives campaign funded 5 020 bicycles, which were distributed to schoolchildren in Africa. This year, the 5 000 bicycle target is aimed at providing bicycles to adults as well as schoolchildren across Africa to improve people’s mobility and thereby their access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.