100 Students Graduate From South Africa’s Green Riders Academy

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Green Riders is a green e-mobility solution that is committed to pioneering sustainable mobility solutions, empowering South African youth, and contributing to a greener environment. Green Riders recently celebrated the achievement of 100 graduates of the Green Riders Academy.

The Green Riders Academy training program is an intensive 12-week course which combines classroom-style learning with practical, hands-on experience. The program is mainly targeted at upskilling and providing opportunities for people from low income and disadvantaged communities. The 100 graduates are from the communities of Joe Slovo and Phoenix, in the West Coast of Cape Town.

The Green Riders Academy program is designed to equip young people with the essential skills and knowledge they need to become professional delivery riders. Green Riders says its comprehensive curriculum covers a range of disciplines, including e-bike handling and road safety, customer etiquette and sales, communication, navigation, food hygiene, and aggregator app usage. Graduates of this program will master the art of efficient and seamless last-mile delivery, enabling them to become sought-after professionals in this fast-growing industry.

One of the primary objectives of Green Riders is to tap into the potential of South African youth and empower those participating in the training program to secure sustainable, long-term income earning opportunities. With their newfound expertise and the support of the Green Riders network, these individuals are poised to enter the job market confidently and contribute significantly to the economy.

One of the highlights of the graduation ceremony and event was the keynote speech delivered by Rali Mampeule, representing the Mampeule Foundation. His inspiring story touched hearts and brought tears to the room. With unwavering passion and heartfelt sincerity, Rali shared a message of empowerment and hope with the Green Riders youth. He urged them to embrace their potential, to believe in themselves, and to seize the transformative opportunities offered by the Green Riders Academy training program.

There are currently many barriers for young people entering the delivery market, with the main one being the cost of the e-bike. A key objective for Green Riders is to address this barrier over time to further empower youth, and in partnership with the SDI Trust, a number of delivery riders will now take on the direct ownership of their e-bikes.

Green Riders has also forged new partnerships with Youth Employment Service (YES), Hollard Insurance, and Ford Motors to support riders with a 12-month work experience program to ensure that youth receive financial support during their first year as new delivery riders. In addition, the Green Riders team is going to be collaborating with Pick n Pay on a pilot program to enable the riders to earn passive income through revenue from advertising on their e-bike delivery boxes, while championing eco-friendly, sustainable delivery solutions. Pick n Pay is one of South Africa’s largest retailers.

Green Riders has embarked on a ground-breaking journey with a two-fold mission: to create 50,000 job opportunities for previously disadvantaged young South Africans over the next five years, and to spearhead the greening of the last-mile delivery sector by converting the industry from costly motorbikes to eco-friendly and cost-effective e-bicycles. South Africa is currently facing a huge unemployment crisis and is especially battling with unprecedented levels of youth unemployment.

Green Riders Director of Social Impact, Genevieve Olivier, said “We are thrilled to witness the transformation and growth of these young individuals through our programme. Their determination and enthusiasm inspire us to continue our mission of building a greener, more inclusive future for South Africa.”

The ceremony was graced by an impressive lineup of guests and speakers, each bringing their unique perspectives and insights to the occasion. Among them were Alderman James Vos from the City of Cape Town, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator CEO – Kasthuri Soni, YES CEO – Ravi Naidoo, and Adi Enthoven – Chairman of Hollards and Yellowwood. Najwah Edries and Nazeem Hendriks from the Jobs Fund, Makano Morojele from Absa, Mtuza Mdletshe and Itumeleng Mokwate from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Mninawa Ntshongwana from the Department of Labour, and Brad Fisher and Sipha Simelane from the SDI Foundation Trust were also in attendance. The presence of these influential leaders showcased the collaborative effort across governmental, private, and non-profit sectors to drive positive change, uplift young lives, and drive environmental sustainability.

According to Richard Clarke, Green Riders Executive Chairman, “Green Riders will transform the face of micro-mobility in South Africa. We will employ thousands of young South African men and women over the next few years, substantially improving their lives – enabling them to support their families and contribute meaningfully to their communities. We are grateful to Absa, the Jobs Fund and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator for their support in enabling us to train and transition over 1 000 youth in 2023 during our pilot phase for this ambitious project.”

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Craig Atkinson, Founder and Innovations Director at Green Riders, said “It fills my heart with immense joy to witness this catalyst of critical change as we all come together to celebrate this monumental day for our 100 youths who are graduating and starting their new careers as official Green Riders. By fusing innovation, passion, and social responsibility, Green Riders is paving the way for a brighter, eco-conscious future for all.”

I really like these kinds of initiatives. These kinds of programs show just how transformational micromobility, and especially electric bicycles, can be used to unlock much-needed employment opportunities, as well as reduce emissions and the same time lower operational costs for service operators in the last mile delivery sector.

Images courtesy of Green Riders

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since.

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