Bakwena drives hope and health: a decade of empowering communities with Pinkdrive and the Department of Health

As Women's Month has drawn to a close, Bakwena N1N4 toll road proudly reaffirms its commitment to gender equality by partnering with PinkDrive and the Department of Health for the tenth consecutive year.

This partnership serves to raise awareness, educate, and provide critical cancer screenings to communities, reinforcing the idea that everyone deserves equal access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities.

Over the last decade, Bakwena N1N4 toll road, in collaboration with PinkDrive and the Department of Health, has been committed to improving the lives of communities living along the N1N4 route. This year, the campaign focused on the Majakaneng and Bapong communities adjacent to the N4 and Hammanskraal, situated near the N1 freeway. The primary objectives of the campaign were to educate individuals about various types of cancer, emphasise the importance of early detection through self-examinations, and provide clinical examinations.

The campaign unfolded in two phases. The initial phase involved visiting local high schools to engage with both male and female students. The second phase entailed partnering with the Department of Health and local clinics, encouraging them to join in the initiative by offering additional health services, such as pap smears, cholesterol checks and wellness assessments.

Taking place from August 21st to August 25th, the campaign reached multiple clinics, including Majakaneng Clinic, Bapong Health Clinic, Suurman Clinic, Temba Clinic, and Kekana Gardens Clinic. The schools visited during this initiative included Johane Mokolobetsi Secondary, Michael Modisakeng, Mogale High, St Theresa, Moditela Secondary, Hans Kekana, PHL Moraka, Ratshepo Secondary and Steve Biko Secondary.

The campaign successfully reached a total of 5 261 males and 5 682 females, with 407 breast examinations and 102 PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) tests conducted. Seven individuals were referred for further follow-up care, emphasising the importance of early detection and timely intervention.

PinkDrive, a Public Benefit Organisation, operates South Africa's first mobile mammography and educational unit. Their mission is to spread the message that "Early Detection Can Help Prolong a Life" to communities throughout South Africa. Through their partnership with Bakwena, PinkDrive has achieved remarkable results, conducting 86 mammograms, 6 762 clinical breast examinations, and educating 37 416 men and women on breast, testicular, and prostate cancer. Additionally, they have performed 613 PSA tests on men over the age of 40 along the N1N4 route.

Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Ltd is guided by a corporate social investment policy that encompasses road safety, health, environment, heritage and socioeconomic development. It initiates extensive social development programs within the communities along the routes it constructs, operates, maintains and builds. Recognising the importance of partnerships that strengthen systems such as health and education, Bakwena is proud to support initiatives like these, which empower women, children, and men with the information and support needed to manage their health effectively.

Solomon Kganyago, Chief Operating Officer of Bakwena N1N4 toll road, expressed pride in the company's commitment to these initiatives, stating, "Bakwena is proud to support initiatives such as these as they equip women, children, and men with the necessary information and support to manage their health more effectively."