Walking bus volunteers to get a stipend

From Monday October 21, members of the community walking bus initiative will earn a R2 000 stipend from the City of Cape Town.

This was announced by Mayor Dan Plato at a gathering of more than 1 000 walking bus members on Wednesday October 16 at Lentegeur civic centre.

Many parents have joined the walking bus over the three years of its existence, said Mr Plato.

The walking bus involves parents and caregivers escorting children on foot to and from school.

Chairperson of Lentegeur East Neighbourhood Watch Sector 2, Glenda Arendse, said the walking bus has made community spaces safer.

“At times when our areas are red zones especially during the shootings, principals would ask us to assist with the safety of the children. We can assist with making our community a better environment,” said Ms Arendse, who was the recipient of the Leaders Choice Award in 2018 at the annual neighbourhood watch awards in the City of Cape Town Outstanding Achievement category.

Come rain, wind or sunshine, the walking bus members report for duty. “I visited various areas on a rainy day and I found the walking bus members at the posts helping children get to school safely,” he said.

“Do not feel like you are invincible, or feel the need to take a bullet because of the stipend you are receiving. Keep being visible in the area, the gangsters and those carrying out crime do not like this. Keep being visible in our schools, to stop bullying and help keep our children safe,” he said.

The mayor reminded the members that they need to be registered on the City’s database to receive the stipend. They should not expect to receive the stipend if they have only served a day or two with the team, he said.

“Let the people in your group know where you are, and bring a doctor’s certificate if you are sick. You are now informed of your roles and responsibilities. The safety of Cape Town starts with you,” he said.

Mr Plato’s spokesperson Greg Wagner, said the project will see an expansion into new communities in Phase 2, which commences in the 2020 academic year.

“The roll-out of the additional law enforcement that was budgeted for when I came into office last year November will continue, and these officers will complement the walking bus programme and increase safety where possible,” said Mr Plato.