2017/06/09 Thembisa Shologu
MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi has appealed to Gauteng youth to take road safety seriously.
Addressing the Tshepo 1 Million Expo on Friday, MEC Vadi said research shows that the primary cause of accidents and crashes are human behaviour and error. 35% of crash victims are young people.
“We have in our country 14 000 crashes and fatalities per annum, 14 000 deaths every year on average. We can control this situation, we reduce the number of crashes because it is a human factor that is the major cause of these accidents.
Vadi said due to road fatalities it is estimated that the country loses over R140 billion in costs per year.
“If we cant change the mind-set and the behaviour of young people on our roads our concern as the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) is that these figures are going to increase.
“We are appealing, begging our people to take the issue of road safety very seriously. Every year we run safety campaigns and roadblocks but somehow the message is not filtering through,” said Vadi.
“Road safety is my responsibility, your responsibility and road safety is everyone’s responsibility,” he added.
Vadi said the learners licence progamme, also known as K53 programme was offered to Grade 11 learners to develop driving as a critical life skill for young people in the province before leaving Grade 12.
“It is a massive programme that started three years ago, There are 180 000 Grade 11s in Gauteng in any year but in the three years that we ran this programme only 20 000 have passed and got their learner’s license. We would like to see more young people taking advantage of this opportunity,” he said.
In addition, the Department has trained 300 young people as driving instructors through a six months programme
This year’s youth Expo is centered on Tshepo1Million, government’s flagship programme for empowering the youth to play a meaningful role in the economy. The programme is built on a series of partnerships with the private and public sector, and has a specific focus on skills training, job placement and entrepreneurship development. Some of the partners working with government on this programme include big corporates such Hollard, Gijima, Broll, Coca-Cola SA, Micro-soft, ArcelorMittal and many more.
The Expo, which is in its third year running, is taking place on 9-18 June 2017. Over 200 exhibitors are confirmed, and they include: The Innovation Hub; IBM; Coca-Cola SA; Regenesys; TVET College, SEDA, IDC and many more. The Expo seeks to minimise search and transaction costs for young people looking for information and services around careers, jobs and entrepreneurship. It also aims to showcase products made by young people and facilitate dialogue between the youth and policy makers.