uMfolozi Local Municipality alongside the National Department of Transport hosted the “Shova Kalula Bicycle Programme”. The event was held on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 at the Dondotha Sports Field.
Shova Kalula is a ministerial initiative aimed at improving the mobility of learners from rural and remote communities.
Through this collaborative effort alongside the Department of Transport, uMfolozi municipality has ensured the provision of low-cost mobility solutions for learners, thus demonstrating a deep commitment towards empowering its people and proving good governance in leadership.
Learners and educators from twenty schools were chosen as the beneficiaries of the 750 bicycles which were handed over at the Dondotha Sports Field. 50 learners from each school were chosen as the beneficiaries of the Programme.
Those who qualify as beneficiaries of the programme were students between grades 3 and 12, who come from low-income households. These are students who have to walk a distance that is above 3km as part of their daily commute to school.
In order to ensure that the programme benefits as many learners as possible, the bicycles will be regarded as school property, which ought to be returned back to each school at the end of each academic year.
Mayor of uMfolozi, Cllr SW Mgenge conducted the welcome speech and stressed that the objective behind the initiative was to encourage learners to not be deterred by their socio-economic limitations, which often pose a threat towards the attainment of an education.
Member of Parliament, Ms. Nocawe Mafu and Deputy Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga were also among the leadership that was present at the Bicycle handover.
Honourable Sindisiwe Chikunga delivered a powerful keynote address as she urged and inspired students to remain devoted towards achieving academic excellence, as this would be a sure way for them to transcend the vicious cycle of poverty.
Chikunga urged that students need to develop a keen interest in pursuing the studies of aviation and engineering, as the Department of Transport continues to provide University funding for students who wish to join these sectors. She also raised the importance of making the “Shova Kalula” initiative one that is sustainable in order to ensure that it also benefits the next generation of learners.
Member of Parliament, Ms Nocawe Mafu delivered a message of support and illustrated her ongoing commitment in serving the community of uMfolozi. Mafu also raised the importance of remaining committed towards the eradication of the high unemployment rates which continue to plague uMfolozi.
She highlighted that the “Shova Kalula” Programme was also an attempt to create employment opportunities in uMfolozi. This would be achieved through developing a strategy that will involve local SME’s in creating solutions aimed towards the maintenance of the bicycles.