AFTER more than a week having elapsed since the tragic death of four and serious injury of a further three matric year scholars in Soweto on Monday 8 March 2010, isn’t it surprising that despite wide spread condemnation, which has included the baying for blood of the perpetrators, threats of extreme prosecution, death threats and now even a dining experience with the accused by none other than the president of the ANC youth league, Julius Malema – no positive action whatsoever has come out of this tragic incident?
JPSA has been watching with keen interest – as it said it would – to see if any positive action would be forthcoming in the form of preventing or minimising further such incidents. As yet, all that has come out of this incident has been the usual rhetoric and threats by the authorities.
It needs to be remembered that “dicers” will only do so on roads that present the opportunity for them to do so; and minimal (or zero) law enforcement and no visible traffic police presence, coupled with roads which offer no obstacle other than pedestrians is what gives rise to this dangerous and irresponsible practice.
If we were running traffic law enforcement authorities, traffic officers would already have been despatched to all schools at opening and closing times on a permanent basis, but sadly we are not and so this has not happened – despite our calls for it.
We also suggested the installation of speed humps at the roads approaching and leaving school entrances and this too has fallen on deaf ears.
Since the authorities clearly have more important issues to deal with than protecting our children from harm, JPSA is launching its “Safer Schools Project” and to that end has instructed their attorneys to establish a trust fund to gather funds to install speed humps at all schools (government and private) in South Africa. We realise that this is a mammoth task but believe that it is strictly necessary should we wish to see an end or at least slowing of the death and injury of students entering schools caused by irresponsible drivers.
The cost of installation of metal speed domes in a 6m wide road will be around R13,000 stretch of road and schools wishing to have these installed, as well as parties wishing to donate to the fund for their installation may get further information at www.jp-sa.org. We will also be asking the Department of Education and Department of Transport to get involved in facilitating this project.
We are appealing to the public at large, business and the schools themselves to actively participate in raising funds to have metal dome speed humps installed at all school entrances in South Africa. We have already written to some media broadcasters to enrol their support in raising awareness of this project and will continue to follow this up as well as actively pursuing other contacts who may be able to help make this vitally important initiative succeed.
We realise that South Africa has no shortage of sensational and in most cases negative stories to publicise, however we appeal to everyone to take note of this project and help us attain our goal of calming traffic at schools to make a difference where we can – so that other families may be spared the grief and horror of what happened last week.
Attached is a more detailed document on this project and members of the public may find out more about this project at www.jp-sa.org.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa
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