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The Walking Bus project, started by Mayor Dan Plato during his time as Western Cape Community Safety Minister in May 2016, is being rolled out across the city. Today, Alderman Plato launched this project at the Lentegeur Civic Centre, as part of the city’s initiatives in 55 areas across the Metropole. An additional 20 areas will be rolled out in future.

The Walking Bus programme helps to ensure that school children have safe passage to and from school. We saw the positive impact of this project – which has been close to my heart - since its launch three years ago as one of the flagship campaigns aimed at keeping our young people safe.

We formulated plans to move the initiative to the City to continue the good work in helping to keep our children safe. Making our communities safer requires everyone to be involved and we are pleased that so many community members have shown an interest in being part of this project. The Walking Bus campaign has seen thousands of parents become volunteers.

Behind this simple task there is a significant meaning: adults are protecting the potential of these future leaders by ensuring their safe journey to and from school in their neighbourhood. These young people have untapped potential and are our future leaders, lawyers, doctors, artisans, musicians, sportspersons and so much more.

The Walking Bus initiative is a mechanism we can implement to ensure young people are able to go to school feeling confident about their safety. In some of our communities, getting an education is more challenging as our youth live in areas affected by crime and gang violence. The volunteers are residents who care deeply about their communities and we are grateful for their involvement.

This 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.