The year was 1963 - The Rola Group started in April 1963 when Rola Motors was established, and evolved over the years to what is known today as the Rola Motor Group.
Mr. MH (Kiewiet) Cloete, a farmer from Karasburg, Namibia, had visited the Strand for his annual family holiday since the late 1950’s. He became friends with the then owner of Helderberg Motors, bought a car from him and ended up becoming a 50% shareholder in the business
He was quite surprised to get a call one morning a short while later, informing him that the company in which he was a shareholder was in liquidation and he was in for some serious financial debts.
Being the proud and good businessman that he was, he consolidated some of his assets, paid off the debts, and registered a new company, MH Cloete Enterprises, trading as Rola Motors.
His son-in-law, Laurie Claassen, a school teacher at the time, together with the support of his wife Helmine (daughter of M.H. Cloete), joined him on 3 April 1963 (the official birth date) to become co-owner.
At the time, Mr. Claassen’s only big financial asset was a 1961 Zephyr, which he sold in order to contribute towards his 50% share of the Rola Motors Company that consisted of a filling station, used car sales, and repair shop operating from a small workshop.
Mr. Claassen had no previous business experience, and under the mentorship of his father-in-law and continuous support and active involvement of his wife, Helmine, they worked very hard to lay the sound and solid foundation for a successful company to follow. The then family residence is these days known as the “Home of Rola” and facilitates the Automotive Retail Academy and training facilities. Laurie Claassen coined the phrase,”Service is your best salesperson”, which became synonymous with Rola Motors.
In 1994, upon the retirement of M.H Cloete, Mr. Laurie Claassen became the sole owner of the Rola Motors company; he was accompanied in the business by both his sons, Theo who had joined in 1986, and Marius in 1993. Mr. Laurie Claassen retired in 2007, leaving the company in the hands of his capable sons.
Over more than five decades, the Rola Group has acquired and traded in different new and pre-owned vehicle brands, endorsing and serving them with the Rola customer experience of excellence and integrity, through which the Group has earned its reputation.
Qhubeka Charity is a Non-Profit Company registered in SA and is a community initiative which means ‘to progress’/’to move forward’ by using bicycles to connect people to schools, clinics and jobs. Communities with limited transport have restrictions, but bicycles are tools of change. They help people to get where they need to go and do things that are difficult without transportation.
Rola Motor Group has made a decision to entering into a proud partnership with Qhubeka and in doing so, supporting our local communities and our staff members through this CSI initiative by means of the following programmes.
Bicycles are an effective way to address the needs of school children in South Africa. Schoolchildren earn Qhubeka Bicycles by committing to improve their school attendance, participation in sport and improved grades. Bicycles make it easier and faster to get to school. 12 million of the country’s 16 million school-going children walk to and from school The Learn-to-Earn Programme will be supported by Rola by donating over the course of 2019 a total of 240 bicycles to children across three geographical areas and communities within which we operate. We promise to keep you posted.
The Rola Qhubeka project was officially launched on 21 February 2019 with the first handover of 50 bicycles to the Greenberg Secondary School in Grabouw. Qhubeka matched this with a further 50 bicycles, meaning 100 schoolchildren are now able to get to and from school more quickly and easily.
A second delivery of 30 bicycles, totalling 60 with Qhubeka’s support, is scheduled to take place during the Absa Cape Epic event, in conjunction with Grabouw Beautiful in March 2019.
The aim of the partnership is to provide bicycles to school communities, over a three-year period in order to improve people’s mobility. The plan is to distribute 700 bicycles into Qhubeka’s learn-to-earn programmes over the next three years. Visit https://qhubeka.org for more information.
Bicycles change lives and with our proud Qhubeka partnership it is our mission to ensure that we indeed live up to the challenge of mobilizing our communities towards better education.
Through our Remedial Intervention Programme the Heaven-on-Earth Project endeavours to help bridging backlogs before learners enter the formal school situation.
The intended outcome is to ensure that 90 percent of learners will be school ready in the future compared to the current approximately 20 to 50 percent in some South African communities.
The ROLA group partnered the Heaven-on-Earth Project since 2013. As one of Heaven-on-Earth’s key sponsors, it plays an enormous role in supporting the Remedial Intervention Programme brought to more than a thousand pre-school learners annually. ROLA also spreads love and care through events such as Christmas parties and gifts to the young learners of the HOEP centre in Sir Lowry’s Pass and lends a helping hand whenever needed.
Thank you to the wonderful, caring group of people at the ROLA group. As Heaven- on-Earthteam we are blessed to have sponsors and friends like you. Thank you for making it possible to bring back hope to the communities in the Western Cape.