Village Talk 31 Mar 2023
Ntiyiso Manyike, Capital Markets Associate at Bridge Taxi Finance, hands over the keys of Thembelihle Primary’s new minibus to Matthew Cocks, executive head of Thembelihle Primary School.
Pupils at Thembelihle Primary School in Howick have access to a new minibus to transport them to extracurricular activities, thanks to a sponsorship from Bridge Taxi Finance.
The 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.
“We have an exceptionally busy sporting and arts programme, and the bus will definitely assist in helping us produce healthy, wellrounded learners and prepare them for a prosperous future,” added Cocks.
Thembelihle, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a non-profit, public benefit school that currently provides education in English for 447 children from Grade 1 to Grade 7.
The pupils 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.
Bridge Taxi Finance operates under the Johannesburg-based empowerment company, Mokoro Holdings.
It offers a suite of finance and support products to the minibus taxi industry in South Africa, which 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,” said 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.
- This story originally appeared in the Village Talk, the Howick community newspaper.