Today, 40 learners at the Ocean View High School near Kommetjie received bicycles provided by the Pedal Power Association (PPA), Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) and Qhubeka. The three organisations are united by their efforts to promote bicycle use in South Africa and are thus working together to increase their impact and reach.
BEN initially agreed to provide 10 bicycles to the school as part of an existing programme. PPA then offered to match the BEN contribution, and finally Qhubeka came on board to match the contribution of the other two parties, bringing the number of bicycles to 40.
While Qhubeka provided their tried-and-tested Qhubeka bicycles, the remaining half of the bicycles are the brand new #bike4all – the product of a new collaboration between BEN and PPA. These simple, robust, yet stylish bicycles have been designed for both commuting and recreation, and the Ocean View High learners are the first to receive these new bicycles.
“With the launch of the Bike4All, PPA continues to deliver on its mandate to put more people on bicycles,” says PPA CEO Robert Vogel. “We are looking forward to collaborating with BEN and Qhubeka, cementing the relationship further and providing mobility and access to opportunities, through bicycles, together. The Ocean View bicycle distribution shows what is possible and it is very exciting to see what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal.”
These sentiments were echoed by Tim Mosdell, General Manager at BEN. “At BEN we are very excited about the spirit of collaboration between BEN, Qhubeka and PPA which is building up momentum,” Mosdell said. “This project shows how much more we can achieve by combining our efforts – it’s a classical illustration of the whole being greater that the sum of its parts! In the end, it’s not about any single organisation, but rather the impact that we are making on the lives of those we empower. The Ocean View Secondary School bike distribution is just the start of many things to come from our collaborative efforts.”
“We are delighted to partner with PPA and BEN to help connect more learners with bicycles today,” says Ian Mills, Regional Manager at Qhubeka. “We are all passionate about the fact that bicycles can change lives. Our combined hope is that these learners will soon be sharing stories with us of how the bicycles have made their lives better, whether it’s by helping them get to school more quickly and easily, saving them money on public transport or providing them with a fun way to socialise and exercise. By working together, Qhubeka, PPA and BEN can help more people to enjoy the benefits that bicycles bring and we look forward to developing this three-way partnership.”
In preparation for the distribution of the bicycles, two learners from Ocean View High School underwent a preventative bicycle maintenance course at BEN to help ensure the long-term viability of the bicycles. Every learner who received a bicycle will also do safety training through the PPA/BEN ‘Cool Kid on a Bike’ course.