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Jobless, disadvantaged young people – who are vulnerable to crime and criminal activity – were the target of a safety campaign.
OUT of school and unemployed youth in Soweto learned about public safety and the City’s by-laws under a Safety Month programme.

TshidisoTshidiso Monareng form the JMPD discusses City by-lawsGathered at Kliptown Police Station on 23 February, City representatives spoke to an attentive group of young adults who were not shy to seek clarification where it was required.

According to Thembelihle Radebe, a City spokesperson, the City is recognising the role of young people between the ages of 14 and 35 in improving public safety. This programme was an opportunity to empower youth who lived in difficult conditions, as they were vulnerable to crime.

The programme, Public Safety Youth Focal Point, is targeting 5 000 young people. On 27 February, it will be at Realogile High School in Alexandra. It is targeting schoolchildren in regions A, C and E, while in Kliptown unemployed young people were targeted.

Issues that were discussed include human trafficking, road safety awareness, basic first aid training, by-laws and public safety career awareness. Tshidiso Monareng from the metro police discussed the City’s by-laws. In his opening remarks, he encouraged his audience to apply the fundamentals of looking left and right when crossing the road.

Since listeners were unemployed youth, illegal trading was discussed in depth. Those who wanted to establish small businesses selling goods were encouraged to follow the procedure to avoid playing cat and mouse when they saw the police.

They should respect pavements as these meant for people to walk on and not to be used as business premises. The right procedure included consulting the City about the right places to trade.

By-laws governing social gatherings were also discussed. “You apply for a closure of street only if it is a funeral and tombstone unveiling,” they we told.

Be safeThe EMS had plenty of safety tips for the youthHiring a hall was encouraged for other social gatherings, such as weddings, anniversaries and parties. These usually involved public drinking which was against the by-laws. Should a party be held in a yard, with a tent or festivities disrupting the traffic, the equipment will be confiscated.

It was an interactive discussion, with the audience asking questions of the officials and sometimes voicing their disagreement with the laws.

Thabo Tlome, the public educator at Joburg’s emergency management services (EMS), shared some safety tips in case of emergencies. He also clarified the misconception that the EMS took its time to get to an emergency.

He made it clear that when there were a lot of emergency calls, they first attended to the most urgent. “Over a person who has a headache and a person who has been shot obviously we will chose the one who was shot.”

People were also encouraged to give an ambulance the right of way when there was an emergency and to stop ignoring their sirens and flashing lights. By doing so, a life might be saved.

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