In January 2017, the Pedal Power Association (PPA) and Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) combined forces to launch the “Bike4All” programme. The programme has a strong, yet simple vision: Put more people on bicycles. Shortly after the launch of the Bike4All programme, Qhubeka joined the initiative, matching the contribution from PPA and BEN with Qhubeka bicycles. The three organisations are united by their efforts to promote bicycle use in South Africa, working together to increase their impact and reach.
Why do we think more people should ride more bicycles?
Bicycles are a cheaper form of transport than cars, or public transport.
Bicycles are good for the environment – for instance, bicycles do not pollute the air; up to 20 bicycles can be fitted into one car parking space; and it takes less than 10% of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike.
You do not sit in traffic jams when you use your bicycle. In fact, for short commutes, the bicycle often gets you to your distination faster than a car does.
Riding a bicycle is better for your health than driving a car. You’re out in the open, and you even get a little exercise on your way to work. Scientists say exercise boosts brain power… and exercise can help with weight loss.
Cycling is an activity that the whole family can do together.
From your bicycle, you are able to interact with the community around you – wave at your neighbour, say ‘hi’ to someone you pass; smell what someone’s cooking for dinner.
In short: Bicycles = Happiness.
BEN’s overall objective is to promote sustainable social and economic empowerment through the use of bicycles. We do this by ensuring a reliable supply of donated and affordable bicycles to disadvantaged communities and institutions. To do this we have to secure an ongoing stream of donated bikes from our donor partners. We distribute these bikes via various projects and through Bicycling Empowerment Centres (BECs), entrepreneur-based businesses that we help to set up in our target communities. We ensure that beneficiaries can maintain their bikes and that they know how to ride safely. BEN also engages with decision makers and stakeholders to ensure that Non-Motorised (NMT) Transport is properly integrated into transport planning.
Part of BEN’s mission is to raise the profile of cycling through advocating the development of appropriate infrastructure and for a safer cycling environment. We use our voice strongly to ensure that Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) is integrated into mobility and transport planning. We engage with other like-minded organisations to build a cycling community in order to raise awareness of the mobility, social integration, health and well-being benefits of cycling.