Bridge Taxi Finance has sponsored a second minibus to the Thembelihle Primary School in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, to provide the school’s learners with transport to extracurricular activities.
The newly-sponsored Jinbei Diesel 16-seater vehicle will be used alongside the school’s existing bus, which was sponsored by Bridge Taxi Finance in 2018.
“The bus will be used to expand our sporting programme, where our children compete in sports such as cricket and swimming, and to support our learners in creative arts in creating opportunities for them to perform at live shows and arts festivals,” says Thembelihle’s executive head, Matthew Cocks.
Thembelihle Primary School, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a non-profit, public benefit school that currently provides top-class education in English for 447 children from grade 1 to grade 7. The learners are all from disadvantaged backgrounds and most of them cannot afford to pay the school’s fees. The school governing body works hard to find individual and corporate sponsors so that these children can obtain a quality education, with 80% of the children’s school fees being sponsored.
The independent school’s approach is to provide a holistic model of teaching and learning for their learners, based on the STEAM approach, where focus is placed on Science, Technology, English/Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The school currently has 20 educators, of whom three are specialists in their fields, and classes have a maximum of 35 learners per class.
“We have an exceptionally busy sporting and arts programme, and the bus will definitely assist in helping us produce healthy, well-rounded learners and prepare them for a prosperous future,” says Cocks.
Bridge Taxi Finance operates under the Johannesburg-based empowerment company, Mokoro Holdings. The company offers a suite of finance and support products to the minibus taxi industry in South Africa. This includes strategic investments in, and associations with, various industries supporting the developmental chain, from taxi finance logistics, credit solution services, to the supply of parts and vehicles servicing.
“This sponsorship is part of our company’s social and corporate focus on education, where we support various programmes, such as providing financial support for University applications for family members of our staff, as well as various school transport programmes in Thembelihle. This year, we are also launching a programme where we will be supporting the matric dances of local schools, through a highly exciting and fun photo competition at schools,” says Thomas Cutten, head of debt capital markets for Bridge Taxi Finance.
As part of the sponsorship agreement with Thembelihle, Bridge Taxi Finance will also provide the maintenance and logistical services, to ensure the bus stays operational.
“This support is only worth something if it is ongoing, and we commit to keeping the vehicles roadworthy to ensure that the children receive the support they deserve, and to keep the programme sustainable,” says Cutten, adding that the aim is to increase the school’s fleet to five buses over time.
Bridget Taxi Finance provide their clients with the same ongoing support services, where vehicles are tracked on a daily basis, and owners and operators are provided with the support they need to ensure their operations and businesses are profitable and sustainable.
Thembelihle’s new bus was handed over in a small ceremony at Bridge Taxi Finance’s premises in Johannesburg in February.