The Walking Bus initiative is both exciting and sad at the same time.
The very fact that it is necessary makes it sad.
But, it’s also exciting that our communities are taking ownership of our social challenges and finding innovative solutions.
If you read my page regularly, then you will know that I believe education is the silver bullet solution to all our problems as a country.
In fact, I have previously said that if our government invested all our collective resources into education for one generation (at the expense of everything else), we would reap wonderful and everlasting rewards as a country.
Giving our kids an equal and superior education in class is one thing, getting them to the school gates safely, is another thing altogether.
And that is really the saddest part of the whole thing.
While we are criticising the subject contents and analysing our matric pass rates every year, there are entire communities still struggling with the very basics of basic education.
Getting the kids safely to and from school is probably the most basic of them all.
So we need to celebrate the parents who find themselves at home and are willing to tackle this issue in a very simple way.
I believe there are now already more than 2 500 parents and volunteers walking children to and from school across the Western Cape every day.
Last week, Mayor Dan Plato offered them contracts, which means they are now getting paid a small monthly stipend.
We can extract another bit of logic from this initiative, and that is the old saying of it taking a village to raise a child.
The Walking Bus is also a good example of what is known as social innovation, which is a big thing lately.
Like the name suggests, it is a new or clever solution to a social challenge.
It’s not always something that generates an income immediately, but can lead to that eventually.
Which brings me to the point I’m trying to make.
I hope this is one of many such social innovations for the Cape Flats.
Needless to say, there are many issues that need attention and the government can’t solve all of them.
In fact, I believe communities will do a much better job anyway, so I hope this inspires others to think of how we can tackle those other issues effectively.