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21 June 2019

Rustenburg – A brand-new Qhubeka bicycle was handed over to a learner at Geelhout Park Secondary School on 12 June as a precursor to Youth Day on 16 June. 


The handover is thanks to the Qhubeka bike initiative in cooperation with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) Eco-Schools programme. 


In 2019, Qhubeka made six bicycles available to Eco-Schools that collected 10kg of plastic bottle tops each. The schools have been provided with a spring balance so that the concept of weighing can be better understood. 


The bottle tops are melted down to create buttons for bags or as packaging for bicycles produced in Groot Marico and destined for other destinations in Africa. 


Apart from Geelhout Park Secondary School, three other schools have received a bicycle each for their efforts: Kgetleng Primary School in Swartruggens, Sefatlhane Primary School in Zeerust and Groot Marico Academy in Groot Marico.


The bicycles were handed over by innovator and engineer Colin Cooper. He demonstrated to the grade 12 learners how the plastic bottle tops were transformed into buttons and packaging material. The experiential learning fits in well with the national curriculum which encourages learners to look at common objects with a critical eye and to become entrepreneurs and innovators. One of the teachers remarked that the buttons would make interesting jewellery. 


WESSA assists schools to choose eco-school projects with socio-emotive value that are contextually relevant and have educational benefit. 


These projects also demonstrate the economic value of pro-environmental actions. Other recycling campaigns that WESSA offers are Paper4Bread which involves recycling white paper and Tags4Pads whereby girls can earn a washable sanitary solution. 


For more information, contact international school programmes implementer at WESSA Cathy Dzerefos on cathy@wessa.co.za. 


Qhubeka, in partnership with nationwide stakeholders, donated thousands of brand-new bikes across South Africa in the past year.

Qhubeka is an Nguni word (Zula and Xhosa) that means to move forward or to progress. 

 

Colin Cooper explained how to make buttons from bottle-top lids.
 Grade 12 learners Precious Segae and Gift Jijana, enjoying the bicycle earned from collecting bottle tops.

 

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