MEC Dan Plato launches Parkwood Walking Bus initiative, 14 Sept

Friday 14 September 2018, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will launch a new Walking Bus initiative in Parkwood.

The Parkwood Walking Bus will see parents of Montagu Gift Primary, Parkwood Primary, Hyde Primary, Plantation Road Primary and Fairway Secondary school volunteer their time to help ensure scholar safety of learners on their way to and from school.

During 2017/18 almost a third (279) of all child killings (985) occurred in the Western Cape. Recently, the province and especially areas in the City of Cape Town Metro has seen incidents, attempted incidents and alleged incidents of kidnappings occurring in our communities.

It is clear that we all have to do our part to help keep the youth in the province safe.

The Department of Community Safety is committed to drive safety issues of children and youth at risk and this 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.

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

This is why Minister Plato and the Department of Community Safety will continue to launch Walking Busses over the next two months in communities such as Khayelitsha, Mandela Park, Strandfontein, Portlands, Lotus River and in rural towns of Porterville, Tulbagh and Beaufort West.

The success and longevity of any Walking Bus is dependent on the community volunteers’ commitment to helping to increase safety in the area.

Minister Plato is encouraged by the difference Walking Busses are making in our communities and acknowledges the need for more Walking Busses to be established as he has already received additional request for Walking Busses to in Woodstock, Zonnebloem, Kensington, Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, and Eersteriver.

The Department of Community Safety remains a willing partner to 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.

There will be an opportunity for photographs and interviews.

Source: Government of South Africa