Real Bicycle Co. Manufacturing Facility, South Africa
Will Ross, July 16, 2021
The Qhubeka Manufacturing facility is located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is a fully owned subsidiary of the Qhubeka Charity, and it designs, manufactures, and assembles bicycles for Qhubeka. The facility uses local materials, skills, and labor, and it maintains control of the entire parts supply chain.
The facility was founded in 2019 with the goal of creating jobs, boosting skills development, and ensuring long-term sustainability for Qhubeka. The initial funding for the establishment of RBC was acquired through an Enterprise and Supplier Development grant from Mercedes Benz South Africa, while Deloitte Consulting prepared the business plan for Real Bicycle Co. that helped to secure this seed funding. It has the capacity to produce up to 100,000 bicycles per year, and it currently employs over 100 people.
The bicycles produced at the Qhubeka Manufacturing facility are designed to be durable and affordable, and they are specifically suited for use in Africa. They have a load-carrying capacity of up to 100kg, and they are made with locally sourced materials.
RBC has also been issued its SADC Certificate of Origin, which certifies that its bicycles meet the requirements of being manufactured in South Africa. This gives RBC the advantage of trading within the SADC region without incurring import duties, which helps to keep costs lower for customers.
Countries that accept SADC certificates include: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland form an additional customs union – the South African Customs Union (SACU) – with South Africa that allows free passage of goods without the SADC certificate.
The Qhubeka Manufacturing facility is an important part of Qhubeka’s mission to “move people forward with bicycles.” It helps to create jobs, boost skills development, and ensure the long-term sustainability of Qhubeka. It also helps to provide bicycles to people in need in Africa, which can have a transformative impact on their lives.
Learn more at qhubeka.org
Header image: Daniel Coetzee who has more images on bikehub.co.za