Three neighbourhood watch organisations overseeing safety in the Paarl East area were given the first 50 bicycles built at Nederburg in Paarl, the home of the Qhubeka bicycle in the Western Cape.
Nederburg is home to one of two Qhubeka bicycle assembly plants, where bicycles are built.
These bicycles are intended for distribution to vulnerable South Africans via various Qhubeka-affiliated community programmes.
Fifty volunteers from the Fairyland, Chicago and Hillside neighbourhood watch organisations are now better equipped to fight crime in their communities.
Up until now, patrols were done on foot. Bicycles now allow neighbourhood watch members to cover more ground quicker, increasing their effectiveness.
Those volunteering for the neighbourhood watch organisations received basic training in bicycle maintenance, repair and riding. The coaching was provided by master bicycle mechanics Beverley Roode and Janine Johnson of Bicycles and Beyond (BAB), a non-profit organisation that empowers vulnerable communities through cycling.
Roode and Johnson operate the bicycle assembly facility at Nederburg on behalf of Qhubeka. The dynamic duo also undertook the training of four previously unemployed women from the local Paarl East community in the assembly of Qhubeka’s purpose-built bicycles.
The women, now fully trained, are employed on a full-time basis at the facility, and have set out to assemble a minimum of 150 bicycles a month.
The neighbourhood watch organisations in Paarl East operate with the support of Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading (VPUU ) and the Drakenstein Municipality.