School children receive brand new wheels

Hlumelo Diba (13) is one of the recipients of the bicycles donated through the Shova Kalula programme, which aims to assist children to reach school and home faster.

The programme, which comes as a result of the partnership between the City of Ekurhuleni, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and the Gauteng Department of Education, saw to it that 144 bicycles were given to learners (Grade Four to Seven) on March 3.

This programme helps learners to reach school faster than they would on foot.

One of the beneficiaries is Hlumelo Diba (13), who is excited about his new set of wheels.

“I am so happy with my bicycle – I used to walk to school,” Diba said.

“I know how to ride a bicycle because I had one when I was younger, but it broke.”

Using the bicycle not only helps Diba to be on time for school, but also takes a weight off his shoulders, quite literally.

“My school bag is very heavy, but at least the bicycle has a section where the bag can sit as I ride to school,” Diba said.

He recalled a time in Grade Six when he was walking to school and his bag’s straps broke.

“The bag was too heavy and I ended up dropping it and it fell into the water,” he said.

Needless to say, he was late for school on that particular day.

“School starts at 7.50am and ends at 2.10pm, but sometimes the Grade Sevens end later, so having a bicycle to ride home is better,” Diba said.

The 144 bicycles will remain the property of the school.

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Sheina Razack

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