Mayor Dan Plato hosted
1 700 members at a back-to-school walking bus event held at the start of every school year to wish them well for the year ahead.
Mr Plato attributed the success of the walking bus initiative to “the dedication and commitment of our members to ensure the safety of our children”.
“This simple act of walking with learners helps to get them to school safely and affords them the opportunity to receive an education. This is the most meaningful way of protecting these future leaders who could become doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, sportspersons and so much more,” he said.
The walking bus began as a voluntary service and a safety initiative nearly four years ago and now operates in 56 areas in the Metro with over 1 700 members who walk children from their area to school each morning and back home in the afternoons.
Members received their new bibs and other equipment which will enable them to carry out their duties effectively. Members who have also gone through security and first-aid training received their qualifying certificates at the event.
In October last year, the project was launched in the City of Cape Town after being moved from the Western Cape Government, with members being paid a stipend by the City of Cape Town under the auspices of the EPWP programme (“Walking bus volunteers to get a stipend”, Plainsman, October 23, 2019). It had initially been launched in May 2016, when Mr Plato was MEC for Community Safety. “We saw the positive impact of this project and formulated plans to move it to the City to continue the good work in helping to keep our children safe,” Mr Plato said.