Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, operator of the N1N4 freeway, assisted with 121 volunteers at 26 voting stations during South Africa’s local government elections held on Wednesday, August 3, 2016.
Some of these volunteers formed part of the Disaster Management Teams, which Bakwena, with the assistance of the South African Red Cross Society has trained since 2013 and consists of community groups in Hammanskraal, Bapong, Swartruggens and Groot Marico.
Charmaine van Wyk, PR Manager of Bakwena, says that various groups have been trained in First Aid Level 2, Disaster Management and Community-based Health by the South African Red Cross Society. Bakwena also trained first aid teams in 13 schools, each consisting of a team of 18 learners trained either to Level 1 or 2, and two teachers per school. Van Wyk says that this initiative was embarked upon as a means of aiding road safety in rural areas, as well as providing first aid skills to schools, which are often the focal point of community activities, including elections.
These community-based Disaster Teams and school first-aiders were deployed on the day of the election working in tandem with the SA Red Cross, which had tents or gazebos located close to the voting stations, standing out as an independent service.
“To ensure the day went smoothly, Bakwena arranged refresher training on the Friday before the municipal election, on top of the training we have invested in over the last two years,” says Van Wyk. “We are proud to be associated with the South African Red Cross Society, which oversaw the assistance provided on the day by our First Aiders and Disaster Teams. Teachers from School First Aid teams were also actively involved to ensure learner safety.
In total, Bakwena provided the following assistance through its volunteer Disaster Teams, working in tandem with the Red Cross:
· Hammanskraal: attended to ten voting stations with 51 volunteers;
· Swartruggens and Borolelo: attended to five voting stations with 34 volunteers;
· Groot Marico: attended to two voting stations with six volunteers;
· Moedwil: attended to one voting station with 11 volunteers;
· Bapong: attended to three voting stations with nine volunteers; and
· Zeerust: attended to five voting stations with 10 volunteers.
“We are tremendously proud of the work performed by the Bakwena Disaster Teams which, in conjunction with the various Red Cross teams, resulted in a smooth and incident-free election, which is yet another stepping stone on our path to a mature democracy in South Africa,” concludes Van Wyk.