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Greening the last-mile delivery sector: the Green Riders’ mission unveiled

Green Riders is a proudly South African green e-mobility solution committed to pioneering sustainable mobility solutions, empowering South African youth, and contributing to a greener environment.

The company 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.

Recently, Green Riders proudly celebrated the achievements of 100 graduates of the Green Riders Academy, from the communities of Joe Slovo and Phoenix, at a graduation ceremony. 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 special 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.”

At the heart of the initiative is the Green Riders Academy training programme, an intensive 12-week course which combines classroom-style learning with practical, hands-on experience. The programme is designed to equip young people with the essential skills and knowledge they need to become professional delivery riders. The 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 programme 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 programme 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.

A highlight of the 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, Mampeule 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 programme.

There are many barriers for young people entering the delivery market, with a significant 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. 

Looking forward, Green Riders has forged new partnerships with Youth Employment Service (YES), Hollard Insurance and Ford Motors to support riders with a 12-month work experience programme 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 programme 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.

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.”

For more information about Green Riders and its upcoming initiatives, please visit us on LinkedIn at