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Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Ltd, (Bakwena) in partnership with Imperial (through its Be safe. Be smart campaign), Supa Quick, Active Education and the North West Department for Basic Education joined forces this Transport Month (October), to roll out Road Safety Roadshows in eight primary schools in the Bapong and Majakaneng areas of Madibeng in the North West Province close to the N4 route.
According to the annual report published by the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town in December 2019,the leading causes of child injury deaths are: traffic injuries (36%), homicide (28.2%), burns and drowning (27.3%), and suicide (8.5%).
“The signiﬁcant impact of road carnage on the economy and society at large provides a convincing case for decisive policies and strategies to address the problem and for us as a business, this is a core pillar of Imperial’s community and corporate social investment (CSI) outreach,” says Mohammed Akoojee, Imperial’s Group CEO.
The sad reality is, one in five pedestrians who die in a road accident are under the age of 15. This high number of children involved in road crashes is not surprising, given that most children, 68%, walk to school. In particular, children living in informal settlements and low-income areas are at higher risk because they often walk to school alone on roads that do not have clear pavements or pedestrian crossings.
“Driving awareness is critical to solving the national challenge of children being killed or injured on our roads however, practical solutions such a grassroot level education are as, if not more, important. As such, Imperial have sponsored the schools with walking safety belts, which are reﬂective belts that the learners will wear as part of their ofﬁcial school uniform - helping keep them visible to drivers on the road especially in low visibility situations,” adds Akooje.
While it is difficult to address the underlying socio-economic challenges that place children at higher risk of injury, there are some initiatives in place to help make children’s commutes to school safer. One such initiative is Imperial’s Be Smart. Be Safe road safety campaign which aims at educating learners and teachers in road safety through comprehensive shows as well as practical resources to prepare the children for better road behaviour. In addition, reflective belts are provided to learners ensuring their visibility especially for those that walk to and from school.
This initiative is just one of many community corporate social investment (CSI) projects initiated by Bakwena within communities along its toll routes. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of all children residing along the N1N4 route” says Solomon Kganyago, Commercial Manager at Bakwena.
“Safety is a core part of everything we do in our business and this initiative is a great fit for us as an organisation, as we believe the youth is the future of South Africa and their well-being needs to be protected,” says Quick brand manager Yolandi Grundeling.
The schools that benefitted from this joint initiative were Kgwanyape Primary, Leokeng Primary, Nkukime Primary, Bapo Primary School, Majakaneng Primary, Seroophata Primary, Segwetlhane Primary and St Catherine Primary.
Bakwena is committed to various road safety initiatives along its route which are aimed at ensuring both teachers and children are equipped with road safety knowledge that will ultimately reduce crashes, injuries and save lives.