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A fifth Child Safety Centre was opened, where young children will learn about road safety in a very practical, hands-on way.
STOP, observe and drive on – with these instructions, Joburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar sent a group of merry youngsters on their way at the opening of the Child Safety Centre in Randburg.

 

Executive mayor Amos Masnondo unveils a plaque to mark the opening of the centreExecutive mayor Amos Masondo unveils a plaque to mark the opening of the centreChildren from Sindiswa Day Care in Alexandra enjoyed the centre’s facilities at the opening. They joyfully rode their bicycles down the roads, minding the road signs along the way. Metro police officers were on hand to teach the children basic road safety.
 

Lerato Mathibela, one the youngsters from the day care centre, was delighted. “I like my new bicycle,” she said.

The facility, which is next to Fontainebleau Park, was officially opened by Executive Mayor Amos Masondo on 5 April. It was built in 2006, but has been constrained by a lack of funding.

Joining the mayor were the members of his mayoral committee for environment and corporate services, Matshidiso Mfikoe; and public safety, Elgina Ndhlovu.

It is the fifth Child Safety Centre in Johannesburg. “There is one in Dube, in Soweto; in Ivory Park; in Alexandra; and in Berea,” Minnaar said, explaining that there would be qualified educators with knowledge of community programmes facilitating the safety lesson.

The centre is fitted with mini traffic lights, a demo filling station, a mini traffic circle and a few mini versions of basic road signs. The principal of Sindiswa Day Care, Sindiswa Baloyi, said it would go a long way towards improving the children’s knowledge of road safety.

“Children understand better when they are taught practically rather than theoretically”.

Speaking at the opening, Masondo said traffic safety was one of the key priorities of the City. “To realise such a goal it requires the building of a strong partnership with all the spheres of government, organisations and civil society as well as all local communities.”

 

Young Young Lerato Mathibela shows how its doneThe facility was the foundation of teaching the younger generation about road safety. “We do so with the expectation of nurturing a responsible child may one day yield a responsible adult,” said Masondo.
 

“The centre is designed in such a way that it will make learning much easier for children from an early age. The programmes that will be taught are constituted of basic steps that teach about safety and seek to ensure the prevention of accidents.”

A City initiative, it has been established in conjunction with Syntell Foundation, a technology partner for local government.

The chief executive officer of Syntell, Mark Chewins, said the foundation was committed to community development. “We have a mandate of giving back to the community and this is one of the initiatives to show our commitment,” he added.

“One of the most expensive [pieces of] equipment at the centre is the traffic controller box that is used to operate the traffic lights.”

Work on the site included renovation of water and sanitation facilities, closing of potholes, installation of new mini traffic lights, and cutting overgrown shrubs.

The facility is open from Monday to Friday each week. Pre-schools and day care centres are urged to book safety lessons through the metro police department Academy on 011 424 5061/06.

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