Walking bus initiative aims to make learners safer

Cape Town – A new initiative called the Walking Bus will see approximately 150 parents of Henry Gwala Secondary, Chris Hani Secondary, Impendulo Primary, Noxolo Xauke Primary and Sinako Secondary school in Khayelitsha volunteer their time to help ensure the safety of learners on their way to and from school.

The launch will be taking in Makhaza, Khayelitsha on Friday, 11 May with Western Cape MEC of Community Safety, Dan Plato.

The Department of Community Safety said they are committed to driving safety issues of children and youth at risk, which has resulted in the walking bus initiative being piloted in May 2016.

“Since then, the department has been able to launch more Walking Busses in more than 75 areas with more than 220 participating schools,” a statement from the department said.

The department explained that the Walking Bus initiative was an example of a pro-active community who knows that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Everyone involved would be people who have heeded the call from the Department of Community Safety to help address the various safety needs within communities.

“Active citizenship, such as participation in the Walking Bus initiative by parents or participation in a neighbourhood watch, is a necessary step in rooting out crime from within a community,” the department said.

“Safety volunteers in any capacity have the potential to unite an entire community behind a common cause and take back ownership of a community from the criminal few hell-bent on institutionalising fear in our communities.”

The department further explained that the success and longevity of any Walking Bus was dependent on the community volunteers’ commitment to helping to increase safety in the area.

They went on to say that their department was willing to partner with any community who wishes to improve safety in their own area and assist with the necessary logistical support, training and equipment in order to launch a Walking Bus.

“We will be checking in regularly on the success of all the Walking Busses to help ensure that the programmes are sustainable and will continue to look for ways in supporting community-based initiatives such as the Walking Bus, Better Together.”

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