ChildSafe calls for the implementation of a 30km/h speed restriction around schools.

The journey to school remains a challenge for most learners in South Africa. Children residing in lower-income communities are particularly vulnerable to injury or death due to the high rate of motor vehicle crashes on South African roads. According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation Report, 12 436 South Africans lost their lives in motor vehicle-related crashes in 2022. Death of children between 0 to 14 years accounts for 10,2% of those fatalities.

Various factors contribute to the increased risk, such as inadequate road infrastructure, lack of supervision and having no alternative but to walk as a means of transport. It is therefore imperative that we have interventions that make walking safer so that we reduce the vulnerability of scholar pedestrians.


Global awareness events are one such intervention. In this regard, Walking Safely to School project partners will join learners from participating schools to observe International Walk to School Day. The Walking Safely to School project is currently being implemented in the Western Cape, specifically Delft and Belhar through ChildSafe in partnership with UNICEF. Other key project partners include the Western Cape Government through its Departments of Education and Mobility, the City of Cape Town Municipality and the Centre for Transport Studies (University of Cape Town).

Walk Safely to School Event

More than 100 learners from at least 6 of the 14 participating schools will be supported by their teachers, parents, and members of their local community as they observe International Walk to School Day on 20 October 2023. The Walk will raise awareness during the month of October to highlight the pertinent safety concerns and challenges they face daily. The event will begin at Symphony Primary School in Belhar at 10h00 am with a walk from this point along a predetermined route and back to the host school.

Childsafe spokesperson, Executive Director, Zaitoon Rabaney says: “We also endeavour to instill good citizenship and leadership skills in these learners with a project that teaches learners to take ownership of their own safety in a constructive, meaningful and solution oriented manner.”

International Walk to School Day is an annual global event that promotes walking for many reasons, including physical activity, teaching safe walking skills to children, awareness of how walkable a community is and where safety improvements can be made, reducing traffic congestion, pollution & speed near schools and sharing time with community leaders, parents and children.

Speed Restriction around Schools

The project is a replication of an earlier FIA Foundation-funded project that was implemented at six schools in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. All 14 participating schools are situated close to the busy Stellenbosch Arterial, a high-volume vehicular traffic highway that has been identified as a high-risk road for scholar pedestrians. This highway has a posted speed limit of 80km/h and two lanes in either direction, rendering crossing a near impossible task.

In addition to taking part in global awareness events like the International Walk to school Day, the project also encompasses road infrastructure modifications and default 30km/h speed limits in school zones to protect pupils on the route to and from school, combined with road safety training, education and awareness for children, teachers, and the broader community in the project site.

UNICEF South Africa’s Adolescent Development Specialist, Nokuthula Prusent says, “. High speed is one of the main factors leading to the loss of lives and serious injuries. Children living in low-income settings, informal settlements, and inadequate housing communities in high-speed areas, as well as children with disabilities, are particularly vulnerable. Transforming environments to enable children’s safe mobility promotes their physical activity, active travel, independence, and development.”

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Media Contacts:

ChildSafe South Africa, Ms Zaitoon Rabaney, Executive Director,, 021 685 5208

UNICEF South Africa, Ms Nokuthula Prusent, Adolescent Development Specialist, , 012 425 4725

About ChildSafe

ChildSafe, an injury prevention unit based at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is a non-profit organization that aims to reduce and prevent injuries of children through research, education, and recommendations to legislation. We work with other non-profits, government, corporates and communities to achieve this. Our core focus though is the prevention of unintentional injuries that are usually regarded as accidents, such as, burns, falls, drowning, road traffic crashes, choking and poisoning. For more information, visit