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Ntandoyenkosi Dlamini
3 minute read
24 Apr 2021
06:10

Bicycles boost for rural pupils in KZN South Coast

Ntandoyenkosi Dlamini

Spending hours walking to school is a thing of the past for some lucky pupils on the KZN South Coast after 2 000 pupils at rural schools in the area received bicycles from the Sweetbike project.

Spending hours walking to school is a thing of the past for some lucky pupils on the KZN South Coast after 2 000 pupils at rural schools in the area received bicycles from the Sweetbike project.

According to the Sweetbike project manager, Ayanda Masengemi, the project is aimed at ensuring that pupils have proper access to education without worrying about the means of arriving at school and attending extra classes.

He added that the Sweetbike project is an initiative by Sweetdale ventures which raises funds for the project that end up being donated as bicycles to schools located in rural areas.

Tholimfundo Secondary School recently received 20 bikes from the Sweetbike project.

Tholimfundo’s principal — Nkosi Bekwa said he hopes to get more bicycles for his pupils because there is still a great need.

“My parents don’t have money to pay for school transport and the one bus that takes children to schools in the area is already full. Walking to school was tiring but now that I have a bicycle, I am now fresh and energetic when I get to school.”
Grade 11 bike beneficiary

“The school has pupils who live in the Manzamhlophe area but still walk for hours to get to school, there are also pupils who don’t stay in Manzamhlophe but are enrolled here because there are no high schools in their areas; they walk even longer distances. We appreciate the recent donation and we can see that the 20 pupils who received the bicycles are now coming to school early,” said Bekwa.

A grade 11 pupil who benefited from the Sweetbike project, said receiving the bike has made him look forward to going to school.

“We have delivered over 2000 bicycles to schools on the South Coast. Pupils are given proper training on bicycle mechanics, safety and practicals on how to ride a bicycle.”
Sweetbike project manager, Ayanda Masengemi

“My parents don’t have money to pay for school transport and the one bus that takes children to schools in the area is already full. Walking to school was tiring but now that I have a bicycle, I am now fresh and energetic when I get to school,” he said.

Masengemi said the project will help needy pupils who are faced with walking for long hours through unsafe areas to and from school. He said the bicycles are donated to the school and not the pupil because the pupils have to return the bicycles so they can be used by other learners the following year.

“We have delivered over 2000 bicycles to schools on the South Coast. Pupils are given proper training on bicycle mechanics, safety and practicals on how to ride a bicycle. Pre-evaluation is also conducted to ensure that only the most deserving pupils receive bicycles.”

Masengemi said that after six months, the Sweetbike team visits the school again to conduct a post evaluation survey.He said they want to make sure that when they return to the school, “we are able to find tracks of bicycle wheels on the ground“.