Exxaro empowers historically disadvantaged riders to inspire positivity and create change

MTB Academy

In 2011, three Exxaro teams participated in the Absa Cape Epic and raised R1.5 million for charity. Though the event was incredibly successful for the organisation in that regard, one thing stood out clearly that year – there was an absence of any historically disadvantaged South African (HDSA) riders.


At that very event, Sipho Nkosi, Exxaro CEO, expressed his wish to see a child from one of the organisation’s rural mining communities participate in, and even maybe win the Absa Cape Epic one day. This sparked the idea of bringing mountain biking to all levels of society in South Africa.


Later that year, in August 2011, Exxaro was announced as a new headline sponsor and official development academy partner for the Absa Cape Epic. We consequently established what is still known today as the Exxaro MTB Academy. Through this initiative, we strive to unearth hidden talent in historically disadvantaged communities and individuals. In identifying talented people, screening them, training them, and developing them, the Exxaro MTB Academy will be helping the youth of our country to fulfil their dreams, and through those dreams, help them to rebuild their communities.

Objectives of the Exxaro MTB Academy


  • Increase the number of HDSA riders participating in mountain biking
  • Increase the number of HDSA riders participating in and finishing events like the Absa Cape Epic, and thereby establishing them as role models for the youth
  • Associate Exxaro with empowerment, leadership, and support of the transformation of mountain biking in South Africa
  • Contribute to the upliftment of Exxaro’s communities – bringing mountain biking to the people
  • Use sport (mountain biking) and a healthy lifestyle to improve people’s quality of life
  • Create change in the lives of communities by providing young people with a healthy alternative – sport vs drug and alcohol abuse
  • Inspire children/young adults to build a positive future for themselves and their families, thereby creating an environment to fulfil their dreams and rebuild communities

The Exxaro Jersey Title Race


In 2012, we introduced the Exxaro Development Jersey. South African teams, whose members are historically disadvantaged, may compete for the jersey – provided they are under 26-years old on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place.


Winners to date are as follows:


  • 2012 - Azukile Simayile and Siphosenkosi Madolo (Songo.info)
  • 2013 - Prince Maseko and Phillimon Sebona (Exxaro/PwC1)
  • 2014 - Azukile Simayile and Siphosenkosi Madolo (Meerendal Songo Specialized)
  • 2015 - Phiilimon Sebona and Jan Montshioa (Exxaro/PwC1)
  • 2016 - Rilamulele Gadabeni and Tovhowani Mavundadavhi (Exxaro/Tronox)
  • 2017- William Mokgopo & Phillimon Sebona (Team Diepsloot MTB Academy 1)
  • 2018- Lucky Mlangeni & Tshepo Tlou (Team Exxaro / PWC 1)