Driving towards opportunities

2019-06-11 06:00
Andre Jonas, chief executive officer One Stop Driving School, Lincoln Martin, Official Phiri, driving school instructor, and Frederick Majiet, driving school instructor.

Andre Jonas, chief executive officer One Stop Driving School, Lincoln Martin, Official Phiri, driving school instructor, and Frederick Majiet, driving school instructor.

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Unemployed residents are being given an opportunity to accelerate their chances of being employed through a Code 8 driver training programme.

Mayor Dan Plato and Mayco member for urban management Grant Twigg recently launched a Code 8 driver training programme in the Ocean View area.

The driver license project provides a basket of services for each individual by covering the costs to book their test dates, have their photographs taken for the testing appointment, driving lessons to ensure they are prepared for the test and the hiring of a vehicle for the day of the driver’s test.

About 50 beneficiaries from in and around the area will benefit from this programme. This is one of the many projects being implemented by the Mayor’s Urban Regeneration Programme (Murp) to reverse the socio-economic challenges, by empowering one driver at a time. The challenges faced by communities are brought about by poverty, high rates of unemployment and the crime in these areas.

Plato said to deliver on their commitment to build an opportunity city they need action, and this project is a perfect example of their commitment to deliver services and empower residents. “Through this project, we are creating an opportunity for individuals to access a basic skill, which will, in turn, assist them to become more marketable for employment. The project helped to bring hope to the unskilled individuals as most of them do not possess a formal qualification or the necessary skills to seek employment,” he said.

The package of assistance encompasses a holistic approach to cover all the relevant aspects of acquiring a drivers licence. It is pointless to provide financial assistance to only cover the cost to book a test or have one’s photograph taken. “What would happen to the individual thereafter, as many cannot afford to pay for a driving lesson, let alone all the months of lessons needed to be ‘road-ready’ for their test. Therefore, this project will play a critical role in assisting the individual learner driver holistically to achieve their driving license,” Twigg said.

One of the beneficiaries, Rochelle Lesch, an unemployed mother, has been looking for an opportunity to empower herself and upgrade her skills set so that she can compete in the open labour market. She said: “This driver’s licence project is giving my family hope. It will go a long way in helping me to find a suitable job.”

All participants have been out on the road making the most of their driving lessons since the end of March

Another beneficiary, Lincoln Martin, successfully completed his driving test and received his licence on Friday 26 April. The City’s local service provider, One Stop Driving School, will ensure that all learner drivers pass as drivers in a few months’ time.

In order to qualify for a spot in this project, residents had to fulfil certain requirements.

The project targets unemployed individuals aged 18 and up, residing in a particular suburb. All individuals must be registered at the local subcouncil office where they live. In addition, applicants must be in possession of a valid learner’s licence.

Only applicants who meet the above criteria will be considered to participate in this programme.

The project will be rolled out, in the coming months to Masiphumelele, Pelican Park, Steenberg, Wesbank, Scottsdene, Steurhof, Mitchell’s Plain and Philippi.

Details on the roll-out of this programme will be communicated via the subcouncils in the new financial year (2019/20).

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