Make safe pupil transport a priority

2015-10-15 06:00

OCTOBER is Transport Month. The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of our democracy. It enshrines the rights of all the people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

Over and above these democratic values, the Democratic Alliance believes in an open opportunity society for all based on freedom, fairness and opportunity.

In KZN more than two million pupils are forced to walk to school, often through rough and unsafe terrain, over incredibly long distances.

Thirty-four-thousand pupils in KZN are transported in bakkies that are often not roadworthy and are an unsafe form of transport for our precious children.

Because of financial constraints and demographics parents have no other choice in order to educate their children.

The financial demands of safe pupil transport far outweigh the department’s current budget allocation for the Learner Transport Programme and therefore it’s unlikely we will see all pupils in the province with safe transport for a long time.

We cannot wait any longer to ensure pupil transport is safe and reliable. The death of so many pupils in KZN is inexcusable. In the Western Cape where the DA governs, 50 000 pupils from rural areas are assisted to get to school and our pupil transport system has over R270 million dedicated to it.

This proves that where we govern, we govern well. It also proves that when money is budgeted on the right things, in order to improve education results, it actually does. What we have been able to do in a shorter period of time in governance in the Western Cape, shows what can be achieved if leadership is willing to hold those who are incompetent to account and to spend budgets in a way that is aligned to produce real results.

Leonard Ngcobo

DA Umzumbe Councillor

Vice Chairman Ugu NorthConstituency

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