A bank partnered with charity organisation Qhubeka and local bike shop Khaltsha Cycles for an initiative they hope will help make it easier for pupils to get to school.
Last Thursday, May 19, Absa, the charity and the shop handed over 300 bicycles to pupils at Thembelihle High School with the hope that it would help reduce their travel time and therefore give them more time to spend on their school work.
Absa regional head, David Monene, said they had partnered with Qhubeka years ago with the aim of donating bicycles to needy communities to help pupils get to school on time.
“I appeal to the community to look after these kids and their bicycles so that they could prosper because these kids are the future of our country,” he said.
Teacher, Thabo Dlakadla, said last year they received about 210 bicycles from the same donors, which had been of particular help to pupils who lived outside the area they attended school in.
He said when the school has extra classes outside of school hours, pupils no longer had to worry about how they would get there – or home – safely.
“The pupils are now provided with transport and will no longer (have to) worry about taxi fare. You will find out that many of these pupils that are late-comers are the same pupils who are not performing well so these bicycles would help them in ensuring that they get in school early.”
However, he said, some of the children are scared to cycle to school as they fear being robbed.
He said for this to be successful they require the full support of the community to ensure that these bicycles are not stolen and therefore unable to serve their purpose.
Grade 11 pupil, Xolisani Ngeva, said he was over the moon with joy and excitement at receiving a bicycle as it would make travelling to school easier.
Founder and director of Khaltsha Cycles, Sindile Mavundla, said the major thing that they had done this year was to involve SAPS and other stakeholders to ensure the bikes are well looked after.