South Durban scholars learn about road and rail safety

Over the past month, 30 schools in the South Durban area have learnt all about road and rail safety as part of a campaign to educate primary and secondary school learners about the very real danger of not taking their safety seriously.

The roadshow visited 20 Primary schools and 10 High schools in the South Durban and Umlazi area situated near high crash sites or railway lines where transgressions are common.

The roadshow which commenced on 17 April and ran until mid-May was a collaborative partnership which saw businesses, local government and various organisations come together to address the high numbers of learners involved in both rail and road accidents. The campaign was planned by a team of representatives from Engen, Mondi, SAPREF, PRASA, SAPS and eThekwini Municipality’s Transport Authority and Metro Police.

Over the past three years, 130 children all under the age of 16 have been injured in traffic crashes in the South Durban area. Statistics from the eThekweni Transport Authority (ETA) show that 128 children were injured as pedestrians, and 66 as passengers.

Another area of concern is fatal train accidents either as a result of crossing railway lines or train surfing,” says Paul Makhanya, Engen Stakeholder Liaison Specialist. “Although Engen, SAPREF and Mondi have implemented a fencing off programme to prevent access to the railway lines in the South Durban area, train surfing is still a dangerous pastime.”

“We take safety very seriously and believe that this worthy initiative will start to reduce unnecessary risk taking and change learner’s behaviour,” says Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane.