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Bakwena assists learners along its route through the vision for the future project

Bakwena assists learners along its route through the vision for the future project

Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Ltd, (Bakwena’s) “Vision for the Future” project handed over 11 spectacles to Moedwil Primary and 48 to Moedwil high school on Wednesday the 30th October 2019.

This project was launched in 2011 and to date has resulted in 54 824 learners along the N1N4 route having had their eyes screened with 1080 of these learners receiving the necessary prescription spectacles to improve their eyesight.

This annual project involves eye testing for all school age learners along the Platinum Corridor which is carried out by community volunteers who have been equipped and trained through the assistance of Bakwena.  These tests result in learners receiving the necessary attention they need to improve their eyesight. As part of the initiative, actual eye tests are conducted by local optometrists at reduced fees of learners who have been pre-identified through the volunteers.  Hoya SA is a valuable partner in this initiative as they provide the spectacles for the children to Bakwena for a significantly reduced fee.

The objective of the project is to provide free eye screening for all learners in schools along the N1N4 Corridor at least once, to get those who failed the eye screening tested to an optometrist, and to provide spectacles to those who need them.  To date we have spent above R5,3m as part of our Vision for the Future Project while also educating students on health and road safety.

Poor vision dramatically increases the risk of crashes, with SANRAL claiming that nearly half of the deaths that occur on South African roads are of pedestrians.  In remote areas, this percentage may rise considerably closer to the average percentage experienced in other developing countries.  The Eye screening project is carried out in conjunction with Hear screening which was launched in 2016. Since September 2016 the eye screening is done through the Peek Acuity cell phone application that is supported by the HearX company in South Africa.

In 2015 Bakwena merged the project with our Integrated School Health Strategy. This initiative has produced many positive results, including impressing on learners the importance of observation when using a road.

Bakwena’s Charmaine van Wyk says “Our various programmes have had a meaningful impact on many aspects of the lives of people in communities around the routes that we operate. We are committed to their road safety and well-being, but we also focus on other initiatives that will bring positive change in their day-to-day lives that will deliver long-term benefits. From informative programmes to educating children on road safety to programmes raising awareness for environmental heritage, we believe that we have the responsibility as a business not only to build, maintain and operate effective highways, but also to improve the lives of the people along these routes”.

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