The City of Joburg’s Transport Department has extended it’s partnership to the Lenasia Scholar Transport Plan (LSTP) to help create a safer environment to approximately 19 000 learners who attend 30 schools in the area.
A public meeting was held earlier in June at the Nur-ul-Islam Hall in Lenasia to discuss the baseline evaluation of the LSTP, which is part of the department’s commitment to have an inclusive public engagement process with all stakeholders. Those involved include the Gauteng Provincial Department of Education, local school principals, parents, residents, businesses, community organisations, scholar transport providers, educators and other local authorities.
MMC for Transport, Cllr Nonhlanhla Makhuba says, “Public consultation is important as it enables us to listen to the community’s key issues and inputs and take action. Through this project, the Transport department wants to ensure leaner transport systems contribute to the betterment of the lives of schoolchildren and transport operators in the municipality.”
The project will also provide safe areas for the transfer of vehicles, pedestrian facilities along key corridors to schools and pick-up and drop off facilities at schools. This will not only be beneficial to learners and scholar transport operators but to the general public as it will improve traffic flow and road safety. It will also alleviate traffic pressure on both Nirvana and Abubaker Asvat Drives, as well as surrounding areas.
Over the years, the City has been confronted with numerous challenges of scholar transport in Lenasia, such as unregulated transport operators and informal public transport systems, mostly along the Nirvana and Abubaker Asvat precinct.
Pratibha Patel who is a local resident is concerned that, “Current conditions for scholar transport are unpleasant for schoolchildren and pose a serious safety concern. The lack of adequate facilities results in traffic congestion, overcrowding and generally unsafe conditions for all learners. Scholar transport operators use Topaas Street as a parking bay when picking up schoolchildren and this blocks people’s driveways.”
He advises that, Lenasia Ext.7 should be considered as a parking site because it has ample space and could help alleviate traffic congestion.
The City of Johannesburg is committed to improving the current state of the scholar transport system and the general upgrade of the area to ensure that schoolchildren are transported safely, reliably and in keeping with the law.