This week, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will launch Walking Busses in the communities of Hangberg, Sarepta and Fisantekraal.
Today’s Walking Bus launch in Hangberg, sees approximately 100 parents of Sentinel Primary and Hout Bay High volunteer their time to help ensure scholar safety of learners on their way to and from school.
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 than 50 Walking Busses at more than 180 participating schools in several of our vulnerable communities.
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.
The success and longevity of any Walking Bus is dependent on the community volunteers’ commitment to helping to increase safety in the area. 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.