MMC Sun honours passionate scholar patrollers
Every morning Luyanda Jafta leaves home in Dobsonville in the City of Johannesburg’s Region C at 6am to help fellow learners cross the road safely. The 12-year-old Unified Public School learner has been a scholar patroller for the past two years.
On Thursday September 8, Luyanda was one of 2 500 scholar patrollers from 180 schools across Johannesburg who were rewarded for their hard work at an awards ceremony hosted by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department’s Community Outreach Unit at Wembley Stadium in Turffontein in Region F.
The unit works with primary schools and early childhood development centres across Johannesburg to create road safety awareness.
“I believe that this role I’m playing is paving my future because I want to be a traffic officer when I grow up. Being part of the scholar patrol team gives me an idea of what my future career is about,” Luyanda said after receiving her award. “I cannot wait to get home to show my family and friends my medal and certificate.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety Cllr Michael Sun said the City of Johannesburg appreciated the commitment and passion of scholar patrollers, who daily leave their homes very early in the morning to play “this important role”. “I want to call you safety officers because that’s what you are. You shoulder a lot of responsibility everyday as you ensure that your fellow pupils are safe,” Councillor Sun told the learners. “I commend each and every one of you here for being the first to get to school and the last to leave and also still ensure that your school work does not fall behind,” said Cllr Sun.
He said he had nothing but respect for scholar patrollers for their dedication and selflessness. “Every life matters. That’s why it’s crucial to impress upon children the importance of safety at school, home, on the road and when playing,” the MMC said. “Tell your family and friends that you are safety officers and not scholar patrollers because what you do saves lives.”
JMPD Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the day was about recognising the brilliant work that scholar patrollers were doing. “You face harsh weather conditions to ensure that other kids get to school and back home safely. If you’re an indication of what the future of the City of Johannesburg is going to be like, then I’d like to say we’ve young, caring and responsible young people in the City,” said Minnaar.