Friends of Hilltop assist in relaunching the Bicycle Programme 2016

Hilltop has been involved in the promotion of bikes in rural communities due to the serious problems youth experience in transport costs which makes it difficult for them to attend school often situated more than 10 kilometers from home. Employed adults who work late into the night or those that have early morning shifts are challenged, since there is no public transport available. Commonly, people walk for two hours or more to get to work in the dark.

To address this need, Hilltop partnered with Drahdesel (now Velafrika) in Bern and started importing container loads of bikes from Switzerland. Two shipments were sent from Switzerland and one from Holland several years ago.

In January 2016 friends of Hilltop based in Switzerland made a decision to collect bicylces in order to restart Hilltop’s transportation project! After careful consideration and planning 20 friends in Switzerland decided to make a dream come true for South Africans. The next step was advertizing which took place with two bicycle shops in the Zurich area and two journalists.

In the months of February, March and April the response from the general public was very positive. Velafrica supported the project team with advice and two enterprises for bike repair.

The shipping company, Optimo, provided free packing material. Hundreds of people brought their bikes PCs and laptops! The Maersk shipping container left Hörhausen on April 29, 2016, it is destined to reach South Africa at the end of May. There awaits the next challanges for the Hilltop team for sorting and unpacking and stock taking the contents and training some local people to be cycle mechanics! Within all of this is the task of distribution in the rural and township locations!

Anticipated delivery date is June 7, 2016 to Hilltop!