Cape Town Charity Toy Run

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Cape Town Charity Toy Run

Join big-hearted bikers as they brighten up the holidays for children across the country

Don’t be alarmed if, on Sunday, 27 November 2016, you spot hundreds of gleaming Harley-Davidsons, lightning-fast Ducatis and more two-wheeled machines snarling through the streets of the Mother City.

It’s all part of the 34th annual Cape Town Toy Run, South Africa's largest motorcycling charity event that sees hundreds of bikers collect teddies and toys with which to delight and surprise children in disadvantaged communities over the festive season. These toys are strapped to their bikes as they ride the route through Cape Town to the end venue at Kenilworth Racecourse.

This kick-gas fundraiser is about doing good but also about discrediting the bad reputation that many bikers have been unfairly saddled with.

Some 65 000 motorcyclists in 18 cities and towns across the country take part in the annual Toy Run. The Cape Town leg of the run starts at two venues; the GrandWest Casino, as well as the Ottery Centre, at 9am sharp, from where the bikers carry the toy donations to the V&A Waterfront and back to the Kenilworth Racecourse on Rosmead Avenue. The festivities will continue from there until 6pm.

The Toy Run makes for a spectacular show and the public are encouraged to watch the procession from designated viewing spots. At the end of the route, bikers gather for a big celebration, which the public are invited to join. The admission fee is a toy, or R50p/p for adults and R20p/p for kids aged between 12 and 18. Larger cash donations are also most welcome. 

Visitors can also enjoy a beer garden, food stalls, supervised kids' entertainment, motorcycle displays and exhibitions, live music, and stalls for merchandise and memorabilia at the end-point event. Celebrated South African comedian Kurt Schoonraad will be providing live entertainment while Empire Alight, Boulevard Blues Band, McCree, The Tuxedos and DJ Quintin get the party going with their love music.

If you’ve never taken part in the Toy Run end-point celebration, go out and buy a few toys and support this worthy cause. All toys collected for 2016 will be distributed before the end of the year; no toys are kept aside or stored. Last year’s Toy Run donated 18 118 toys to underprivileged children around the Western Cape.

Every year, the Toy Run collects thousands of soft toys suitable for young children but there is a growing need for gifts for older kids. Age-appropriate gifts for teenagers include:

  • Sports equipment (cricket sets, basketball hoops, soccer balls, tennis balls, rugby balls, etc.)
  • Costume jewellery
  • Craft kits
  • Toiletries and make-up for older girls
  • Puzzles and board games
  • Fun stationary, drawing and art supplies and equipment
  • Books (to be distributed to libraries rather than individual children)

Please note: No toy guns of any kind will be distributed.


  • No unlicensed riders and vehicles are permitted, and traffic officials will be on duty to enforce these rules
  • Pillions do not need to be licensed but normal road rules apply. No children under 16 years of age are allowed to ride pillion
  • All conditions, laws and requirements of the Road Traffic Act must be adhered to as normal
  • No private person has been given permission to collect toys or funds in the name of the Toy Run; if you wish to donate but cannot attend, please contact the organisers directly at [email protected]
  • All riders and passengers must wear motorcycle helmets
  • While blankets and chairs are allowed at the Kenilworth Racecourse, no alcohol, food or private cooking stations will be allowed and organisers reserve the right to confiscate these items
  • Keep to the parade speed of 60km/h during the procession
  • Overtaking during the run is not permitted
  • Riding motorcycles inside the Kenilworth Racecourse venue is NOT permitted
  • No ‘doughnuts’ or wheelies at any time en route
  • No alcoholic beverages or private catering to be brought into the Kenilworth Racecourse

Please note: Bikers participate in the Toy Run at their own risk; organisers and affiliated parties are indemnified of any and all liabilities.


The first Toy Run took place in 1982 when a few leather-clad road hogs looking to challenge their rebel reputation by putting smiles on the faces of disadvantaged children during the festive season got together for a ride. Today, more than 30 years later, the annual November event has evolved into a mass movement that sees bikers from close to 20 cities and towns across South Africa take to Mzansi’s roads on the same day every year.

Today tens of thousands of bikers from every corner of the country collect more than 100 000 toys before the Toy Run to distribute on the day. When the big day comes around the bikers adorn their rides with everything from dolls to dragons. The collected toys are distributed to the various centres in Cape Town to as far afield as Windhoek and Walvis Bay in Namibia.

Every year thousands of children in more than 300 orphanages, shelters and hospitals around the country have a brighter Christmas than they would otherwise. At the same time this initiative proves that many burly bikers are just big teddies themselves.

You don’t have to own a motorcycle to take part, rent a Harley-Davidson for the day and join in on this awesome experience.
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