A bicycle has been a trademark for postmen across the country for many years as they pedalled from house to house, street to street and section to section delivering mail from the post office.
These bicycles have made them popular in most of the areas where they deliver mail. So popular that they are called by their first names, even by small children. And again, the postmen have come to know their areas of operation by heart. They can even tell whose house is at corner of which street.
The very same bicycle that has been a delivery vehicle for post office for years can become a source of income to many of our unemployed youth in South Africa.
For many, particularly in townships, a bicycle is one of those gadgets meant for the enjoyment of kids around the yard or on streets after school, during weekends or holidays.
For the grown-ups, a bicycle is no longer for them and some can no longer even master the pedals, let alone those who do not even know how to ride. It is seen as a tool only suitable for prospective and ardent cyclist.
However, can any young person ponder a bit. At a time when youth unemployment continues to wreak havoc, what about considering buying one. Rekindle your riding skills or take riding lessons. Afterwards, ride this bicycle to collect and deliver parcels in your neighbour. At riding distances.
Ride at a fee, of course, queue, buy or collect and deliver parcels for families and individuals in neighbours, including spaza shops, hawkers, salons and small business your area.
For some people, standing in a queue to buy or collect food, medicine and other essential is exhausting and takes a lot of determination. Let alone leaving home or work to end up in a queue for long hours. And let alone, during lockdown period when many prefer to stay home but are forced to go to shops as there is no one who can do the chore for them.
For this grown-up man or woman who needs to buy bread and a few grocery items, what about taking a ride, get a shopping list from him or her, go to the shop, stand in the queue, buy or collect, come back and deliver the parcel. After delivery get cash and go back home with R10 or R20 or R30 even R50 in your pocket. Who could have given you this amount of money when you could have just seated at home doing nothing?
Off course, you may not ride longer distance with your bike. But a few kilometres – 20 or 30 or even 50 – that you can master a day can make a difference in your pocket.
Now that it has worked with just one client, the following day wake up, wash yourself, wear clean clothes, put on your mask, take your hand sanitizer, begin to spread the message in your neighbourhood about your services. Leave contact details – a reliable mobile number and street address. Produce positive identification.
You will be amused at positive response to your services.
Get assistance to register your business. Be credible, reliable and honest. Open a bank account. Save your earnings.
Think a bit. Here is a granny in your neighbour who is tired of having to queue at a clinic in the early hours of the morning once every two weeks or every month just to collect her monthly dose of chronic medication – unless if she has to do a medical check-up. OFFER TO TAKE A RIDE AND QUEUE FOR HER AT THE LOCAL CLINIC. Off course, at a fee. She will gladly accept your offer and pay for your services.
Think again. Here is a family which needs to pay bills but have little or no time because of work commitments. OFFER TO TAKE A RIDE, QUEUE FOR THEM AND PAY THEIR BILLS. Off course, at a fee. They will gladly accept your offer and pay for your services.
Think further again. Here is a mechanic in your neighbour who in the process of fixing a car realises he urgently needs just a bolt or two, but he is under pressure to finish a car. TAKE A RIDE, QUEUE FOR THIS MECHANIC AND GET QUICKLY RETURN WITH HIS BOLTS. Off course, at a fee. He will gladly accept your offer and pay for your services.
In some instances, you may find that in one trip you complete five tasks for five clients, thereby more money in one day.
Start with only one client, then go to next. Then create your own database of clients. Get another bike. Hire another young person. Get a third bike. Hire another young person. GROW YOUR BUSINESS.
As you ride, save money and save money. Go for motorbike lessons. Get motorbike licence. Buy a sizeable motorbike. Reach out for more parts of the township and town and get more clients. Off course, at a fee.
What do you need to do now, Young Person? Buy a bicycle now. Or start saving out of the R350 – 00 social relief grant to buy a bicycle and then fit it with a carrier or box.