Parents from the community of Zonnebloem met with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), law enforcement representatives and minibus taxi drivers to engage in discussions surrounding the safety of the area’s school-going population.
This meeting follows a recent spike in incidences that threaten the safety of children, including child abductions and minibus taxis accidents involving school children.
The discussions took place at the Zonnebloem College Estate’s Chapel Hall in District Six on Monday.
Speaking to IOL, Zonnebloem community spokesperson, Karen Breytenbach, raised concerns about what happens to school children when they make their way to and from school each day.
“There is a serious problem right now with kids getting to and from school safely in Zonnebloem/District 6, as a number of recent tragic incidents have highlighted,” Breyetenbach said. “We are here to give possible solutions and this is the first step. Muggings and other incidents of petty crime faced by pupils were also reported.”
A seven-year-old pupil from Holy Cross Primary School was killed in a minibus taxi that was overloaded in July – it was carrying at least 29 other pupils. It later emerged that the vehicle was not roadworthy and that the driver did not possess a license.
A 16-year-old pupil from Sea Point High School was killed in a minibus taxi accident as well, the driver was intoxicated and the vehicle was also not roadworthy. The accident occurred in June.
Local law enforcement representatives present at the meeting said that they had increased patrols in the Zonnebloem area after the recent barrage of child abduction cases, and advised parents to be vigilant.
Pupils in the are now also on high alert and have begun travelling in groups to ensure their safety as they travel to and from school on a daily basis.