Anglo American Platinum has collaborated with Qhubeka and National Lotteries Commission to distribute over 250 bicycles. 200 bicycles will be handed over to learners at Tshukudu High School in Rustenburg as part of a Scholar Mobility Programme (SMP) while 50 will be shared amongst local sports coaches and members of the Emergency Preparedness Response Team (EPRT).

 

Qhubeka is one of the causes the Company supports as part of the PlatinumForGood platform – an employee volunteering programme. A total of R130 000 was raised by employees through the Comrades Marathon, 94.7 Cycle Challenge and other challenges. The funds raised by employees were matched by funding from the Company.

 

Anglo American Platinum believes that for the best level of education, students need the right environment and adequate resources to learn effectively. In South Africa, real progress has been made in getting children to school. However, a number challenges remain. The 2014-2015 WEF competitiveness index ranked South Africa’s overall education system low at 140 out of 144 countries, as result of poor infrastructure, teaching quality and other factors, including ‘distance to school’. Research in SA (2013 National Household Transportation Survey) indicates that 11 million out of a possible 17 million school-going children walk to school. Half a million SA children walk for more than an hour to school, meaning every day they may be walking more than 12 km to school and back, thus impacting a child’s concentration and learning abilities.

 

Anglo American Platinum is proud to partner with Qhubeka in this programme as the importance of supporting and creating thriving communities around operations is core to the company’s Sustainability Strategy.

 

The bicycles will be awarded to pupils at Tshukudu High School who earned their bicycles through Learn-to-earn programmes – a system where they commit to improve their school attendance and results. Qhubeka will also provide the necessary helmets, pumps, tools and locks to the students.

 

The EPRT is composed of members of the community trained by the Company’s Process Division to be first respondents in the event of an emergency. These bicycles will enable them to access emergency situations, report speedily and assist the community in case of emergencies.

 

Anglo American Platinum CEO, Chris Griffith said: “We are proud to be involved with a project which enables school children to travel to and from school to overcome any mobility restraints, therefore enabling them access to a structured learning environment. I am particularly proud that our employees who participated and completed the Comrades Marathon 2018 and the 94.7 cycle challenge each earned a bicycle which has been donated to learners today. This is our way of committing to improving education outcomes.”

 

Communities will be mobilised to manage the SMP through the Bicycle Supervisory Committee (BSC). This committee will act as the governing body for the implementation of the programme’s policy and communication plan as well as make sure the project goals and objectives are upheld. Anglo American Platinum has worked closely with Qhubeka and community members in the discussions around the programme, objectives, implementation plans and logistics to ensure that this programme meets the needs of the community. The programme will also identify, train and fund a bicycle mechanic from the community to ensure that the bicycles remain operational. The mechanic will also receive a bike from Qhubeka.

 

Qhubeka Executive Director, Tsatsi Phaweni said: “This is an example of how public private partnerships can deliver value to communities. Working together with public and private sector entities, as well as communities, Qhubeka can change more lives with bicycles, helping school children to travel faster and further, and to carry more.”

 

The partners have developed performance indicators and mechanisms to measure these in order to report on basic impact assessment data on bicycle usage, including school attendance, academic performance, scholar engagement, distances travelled, response times by EPRT members and overall reduction in safety and security incidents involving learners and schools.