Department of Community Safety honours Members of the Walking Bus Project
The Walking Bus initiative was initiated to ensure safer, supervised trips to and from school for Cape Town learners who are put at risk by gang-related activity.
The Department of Community Safety has partnered with communities to expand the initiative with regular launches of the project.
On 12 February 2018 the Department kicked off its annual Thanksgiving Ceremony in Bonteheuwel to honour residents and volunteers who are working tirelessly to ensure the expansion of the Walking Bus project across Cape Town communities. The ceremony saw Minister Dan Plato hand out certificates to over 60 Walking Bus volunteers, was aimed at honouring volunteers for their dedication to the project that contributed positively to the community by increasing school attendance and rooting out of violent activity that plagued schools.
Ms Jemayne Andrews is heading and facilitating the project since its inception and has seen it grow from strength to strength. She answered some questions about the initiative and its continuing success.
In how many areas have the ‘Walking Bus’ initiatives been launched so far?
The initiative has been launched in over 72 areas.
How have the locals responded to the project?
We’ve been inundated with requests from school principals and communities asking us to launch the initiative in more areas.
What challenges has the initiative encountered from the time of its inception to now?
The project is known for bringing diverse communities together in fighting crime. There has been no real challenge so far, as we are constantly supported by our safety structures such as SAPS, Metro SAPS and Law Enforcement, especially in vulnerable areas where there can be an outbreak of violence at any time. We need to commend these safety structures for going beyond their call of duty to ensure the safety of our Walking Bus members and our children during nerve wrecking incidents, even to the point of providing counselling to our many groups.
What was the aim of the Thanksgiving event held in Bontehewel on 12 February 2018?
We’ve hosted this event for all our Walking Bus areas as Minister Dan Plato and the Department of Community Safety see’s the importance of ac- knowledging their safety partners. As such, the Walking Bus members were presented with a cer- tificate of gratitude, as well as the necessary tools to continue with their efforts and commitment to the cause of ensuring the safety of all school- going children.
What plans are in place for the project going forward:
We plan to encourage more community members to join this initiative, to launch in more areas as also requested by community members and to provide the correct and vital kits necessary in order to sustain the Walking Bus Project