Masiqaphele abantwana bethu, Let us protect our children

Donald Grant, MPP

Ministry of Transport and Public Works

Today, I unveiled the Child Pedestrian Safety poster series at Itsitsa Primary School, as part of the Safely Home focus for the month of October. The posters are aimed at raising awareness about the risks to child pedestrians. They have been strategically erected at places in the Metro where there is the highest concentration of children being knocked over or killed, mostly as a result of irresponsible and reckless driver behaviour.

The unveiling of these posters follows a month of events and activities geared at highlighting the serious dangers faced by child pedestrians on our roads, which have included:

  • Safely Home Road Safety Workshop focussing on child pedestrian safety,
  • The launch of the Child Pedestrian Fatalities Map,
  • Scholar Transport Operations with the City and Provincial Traffic Services,
  • Scholar Patrols focussed at educating children on how to be safe when crossing the road, with Education Minister Schäfer
  • A radio campaign on Radio Zibonele and Umhlobo Wenene, to carry this very important message to the areas most affected.
  • Launch of the Crash Witness 5 video featuring first respondents from the Emergency Medical Services in the Western Cape Department of Health,

The posters have been erected in the:

  • Fukutha St area, Makhaza, Khayelitsha (around Nkazimlo Primary where a little boy was run over at pedestrian crossing outside school in August this year),
  • Sandelhout and Orange circle area, as well as the Sheffield, Jan Dissels, and Barka Road area, both in Delft.
  • Nyanga area, around Oscar Primary School, just off Emms Drive
  • And here in the Nqubelani, Tokwana, and Umbashe Street area, Mfuleni.

In total, there are 300 posters that have been erected as part of this campaign.

Children, particularly small children, continue to bear the brunt of irresponsible and reckless behaviour seen on our roads, with no fewer than 59 having been either knocked down or killed in the Western Cape this year alone. According to StatSA’s 2013 National Household Travel Survey, 50.4% (845 000) of the Western Cape’s 1,676 million population that attend an educational institution walk to and from those institutions, with the remainder being transported by either private or public transport. All of them are, in one way or the other, vulnerable for serious injury or death at the hands of reckless and irresponsible motorists. We must do all we can to change behaviours and attitudes on our roads and protect children from the senseless injury or death that far too many are victim of.

Masiqaphele abantwana bethu. Let us protect our children.

For more information on Safely Home’s Child Pedestrian Safety focus for the month of October, visit www.safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za or follow the campaign on Twitter @WCGovSafelyHome, under the hashtag #SafeRoadsSafeKids