Matrics empowered

2015-06-10 06:01

ALREADY 142 matriculants are reported to have achieved their learner’s licences from the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison’s Learners’ and Drivers’ Licences Programme, in which 252 learners from rural schools around the province enrolled.

This was revealed by the head of the department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Steven Jonkers, during a media briefing, where he gave an update on the progress made with the programme.

The department reportedly invested R2 million in the programme.

“A total of 48 learners have successfully completed their learner’s licences in the Frances Baard, 36 in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, 30 in the ZF Mgcawu Disctrict, 20 in the Pixley Ka Seme District and eight learners in Namakwa,” Jonkers said.

In partnership with local driving schools, the initiative was rolled out as part of government’s efforts to improve the lives of people, provide opportunities where possible and promote road safety as per the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety declaration.

According to the department, the programme was rolled out in all five districts of the province in conjunction with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

Ten learners were selected from five schools each in every district. Boys and girls were given the opportunity to participate.

In line with the National Road Safety Strategy to equip learners with a driver’s licence before they finish school, the focus was on gr. 12 learners in rural schools, where resources and access to information are limited.

According to Jonkers, each learner was only given two chances to write the learner’s licence test.

The bulk of the learners are looking to write their learner’s licence examination during the school holidays as the school curriculum and schedules have to be taken into consideration.

“The Learners’ and Drivers’ Licences Programme takes place at schools after school hours for the convenience of learners.

“Learners in the Frances Baard District have already begun with driving lessons,” said Jonkers.

“The department has also assisted five learners to attain their identity documents and five other learners to get spectacles as it was discovered they had eye-sight challenges and some were without IDs.

“What makes this programme so unique is that we go the extra mile. We take these learner ambassadors on the department’s road safety campaigns. They will be able to meet the top requirements in the job market.”

Jonkers said he hoped to continue the programme after the first intake of learners and emphasised that it also empowered local SMMEs in the form of driving schools.

“We have further engaged with the Department of Health in the province to look into the challenge of those learners that might need assistance with eye-sight testing, and the Department of Home Affairs has been engaged in assisting learners without IDs,” Jonkers said

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