Ambassadors help their community

Community ambassadors who walk the streets in Lentegeur central business district (CBD).

Lentegeur community ambassadors are helping shoppers, parents and the elderly to do their errands in a safe central business district (CBD).

They are also looking forward to more training to improve their employment opportunities.

Last week the Plainsman met with the latest deployment of 33 community ambassadors, following on from the programme in Town Centre and the industrial area close to Liberty Promenade shopping centre.

They each received a bib, hat and training to further empower themselves.

Supervisor Danny Davids, also chairman of Lentegeur community police forum (CPF) Sub-forum Sector 5, including Colorado Park, Rondevlei, Highlands Village and Wild Wood, said they were placed at strategic hotspots.

“It could be where children needs escorting to and from school; to help the elderly over the pedestrian bridge across the train line; carrying groceries or foiling incidents of crime,” he said. “We are here to serve,” he said.

Ambassador Chelsea Jansen, 21, from Tafelsig, said the work, aside from the City of Cape Town’s expanded public works programme (EPWP) stipend, was “very rewarding”.

“You are doing something good to help your community. We see how in danger our people are and we can call for help. We can reach out and make another person’s life better,” she said.

Ms Jansen said the money was not important.

“I am grateful that I have a job and for what I have,” she said.

Mareldia Moller, 58, from Lentegeur, who has been a single parent for most of her children’s lives said employment helped her to stay independent.

“I love it. I love working with and for people, especially the elderly and young,” she said.

Ms Moller said they were placed at strategic spots to help the community feel safe.

“It may seem small but to another person it may be big. Like the guy who carries his laptop to and from work. He is glad to see us at 5am on the road. We ensure children get to school safely and it is with great satisfaction that I can say I completed a task today,” she said.

Mr Davids said they work closely with other community organisations and service providers.

“We can call law enforcement, metro police, log C3 notifications for the council come fix almost immediately,” he said.

The ambassadors receive bibs, hats and training during the EPWP tenure, including first aid training and opportunities to seek permanent or better employment with City of Cape Town partners and service providers.

Last week the municipality announced a partnership with the University of the Western Cape school of Governance and the New Hope Training Organisation to provide national qualifications framework-accredited qualifications for the EPWP Transversal Support project.

The City’s pilot project will have EPWP recruits obtain NQF-accredited qualifications through their participation on the programme.

Grant Twigg, mayoral committee member for Urban Waste Management said that the programme also helped participants obtain valid driver’s licences, in addition to various other training interventions on the programme, leaving them in a strong position to benefit from permanent employment with the City or elsewhere in future.

Pictured right is community ambassador Chelsea Jansen, 21, from Tafelsig, with councillors Goawa Timm for Ward 78 and Avron Plaatjies for Ward 76.

Goawa Timm, councillor for Ward 78, said it was important for residents to feel safe and that the City was looking for further training and employment opportunities for the ambassadors.