Premier tours Mitchells Plain to celebrate its successes
Media release: Premier tours Mitchell’s Plain to celebrate its successes.
This week Premier Alan Winde celebrated Mitchells Plain’s rich and vibrant culture, as well as its many success stories, by paying the area a visit.
With mobility an important priority of the Premier and October being National Transport Month, he and Western Cape Mobility Minister Daylin Mitchell tested an exciting new mobile application. Local tech start-up, Loop, demonstrated its app, which connects commuters to participating mini-bus taxi companies that are keen on professionalising their business models by inculcating reliability and safety into how they operate. The platform was designed with input from local mini-bus taxi associations and commuters.
“This is innovation in action,” remarked the Premier. “Innovations like the Loop app are the way forward if we are to make safe, reliable and affordable public transport a key component of our burgeoning economy,” added the Premier as he caught a mini-bus taxi from the Mitchells Plain Town Centre using the app. He said: “Using technology like this is urgently needed to deliver on our other priorities, namely job creation, safety, and dignity.”
The Premier and Minister were impressed at how a group of local entrepreneurs put their heads together to find opportunity in the country’s difficult and tumultuous public transport sector, by taking advantage of the Mother City’s thriving information technology (ICT) environment. Minister Mitchell said: “I am excited to see innovation emerging in the mobility space. The Covid-19 pandemic taught us to tackle challenges in the mobility space and forced us to develop innovative solutions such as the Red Dot and Blue Dot programmes. It is exciting to see young people coming up with innovative solutions to improve mobility in the Western Cape. Taxis are key role-players in that space, and I am delighted to see Loop is helping to create safer and more seamless trips for commuters.”
Premier Winde and Minister Mitchell disembarked at Shadow Careers at the Watergate Shopping Centre. Shadow Careers helps equip matriculants with life and employment skills before helping to place them in jobs. Since its inception in Mitchells Plain in 2020, Shadow Careers boasts a 95% retention rate, with around 90% of its graduates going on to find employment, with the help of the centre. Addressing a class of students, Premier Winde urged them to work hard to become active economic citizens. He told the class: “The Western Cape Government (WCG) prides itself on being citizen-centric, much like Shadow Careers, which is helping us tackle unacceptably high youth unemployment by bringing job opportunities closer to communities, like Mitchells Plain.”
From Shadow Careers, the Premier’s tour took him to Westridge. Approaching what seemed to be just another average house, Premier Winde was delighted to find an art gallery inside, where the initiative RLabs House - which bills itself as a destination “that draws inspiration from the Cape Flats” – exhibits the work of local artists and also involves neighbours, who have allowed their garden walls to be used as “canvasses” for graffiti artists. The Premier said unique business ideas offered by the likes of RLabs are the way of the future. He emphasised: “Not all of our citizens want to be doctors or lawyers. Many would rather become artists. The arts must be nurtured in our province to offer people, especially youths, alternatives careers.”
At the Norwood Community Hall, Premier Winde was introduced to a group of grade 12s who are being assisted by a local councillor and members of the public to get their learner’s licences. He urged the teenagers to make the most of such opportunities. “A learner’s licence is the first step to creating opportunities,” he told the group.
The next stop was the beach. At the Strandfontein Pavilion, Premier Winde was introduced to the 9Miles Project, a non-profit organisation that offers an array of community services. From teaching young people to surf and selling second hand surf gear to feeding those less fortunate, 9Miles has since 2013 been empowering and uplifting local communities. The Premier was offered a surf lesson, a pastime which he is considering taking up.
The Premier concluded his tour by accompanying a group of Lentegeur residents, from various community safety groups, on a night street patrol along with Police Oversight and Community Safety Minister Reagen Allen. The patrol took them past the scene of recent deadly shooting and a house in the area that was petrol-bombed. It was yet another reminder of rampant violent crime that continues to grip parts of Mitchells Plain. The Premier applauded the community crime-fighters for sacrificing their time and safety to try make a difference in the area. Minister Allen said: “It was encouraging to patrol with the Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) and local Community Policing Forum. We appreciate the role they play in the community and look forward to continuing our work with all safety stakeholders.”