RAF APPEALS TO ROAD USERS TO THINK BEFORE THEY DRIVE, RIDE & WALK

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is appealing to all South African road users to reflect on the seriousness of the physical, emotional, financial and mental effects of car crashes this Easter.

Road accident statistics by the Road Traffic Management Corporation indicate that 332 people perished over the Easter weekend in 2018.  Pedestrian deaths were the highest, followed by those of passengers, drivers and cyclists respectively.

Weekly the RAF sends out its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who perish due to car crashes, and appeals regularly to road users to #AlwaysRemember that road safety is a shared responsibility for all concerned. Human factors remain the biggest cause of most road accidents.

In the 2017/2018 financial year, 271,933 new claims were registered with the RAF and 203,493 where finalised. This is an increase of 35% in the number of newly registered claims and an indication that some South African road users disregard the call to contribute towards improving the economy and bettering their lives, including that of their own communities.

As the caring arm of the government, we appeal to all road users to collaborate with us in addressing the road accident scourge. Let us discuss road safety with our loved ones and spread the word about the social and economic impact of road accidents. Efforts of this nature will renew road safety consciousness and contribute towards fewer car crashes and fatalities.

It is time to unite as a nation and confront the emotional, financial, psychological, and physical cost of road accidents. Car crashes destroy families, including the hopes and dreams of many. Let us think about this while respecting the road.

Let us not meet by accident.

For more information about the RAF, kindly visit the website on www.raf.co.za.

The public can also follow us on social media for more information: Twitter (@RAF_SA), Facebook (@RoadAccidentFund) and Instagram (@raf_road).

A promising project for Zandspruit community

Democratic Alliance (DA), African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are working together to provide housing in the community of Zandspruit.

DA Johannesburg Mayor Cllr Hemman Mashaba and MMC for Housing Meshack van Wyk revealed the parties’ alliance when they conducted an oversight visit to Zandspruit. The community mostly affected and in most urgent need for all political parties to unite and provide proper housing, according to Mashaba. 

The mayor’s visit marked the official launch of a project that will lead to the construction of 7000 housing units to replace shacks. The oversight visit also aimed to ensure that all processes planned for extensions 83, 84 and 85 are followed to enable the multi-party government to deliver services effectively.

 “Last year, I came to listen to the residents’ problems and challenges,” the Mayor said in an interview with the Chronicle. “They then showed me the land that the city can use to develop and provide the community with stands. I prepared a report to the council and it was approved that we can go ahead.”

 In the history of Johannesburg, the mayor said, this is the first time that all political parties were willing to work together on a particular project.

“From day one, the provincial government wanted to collapse our multi-party government in the city of Johannesburg,” Mashaba said. “Multi-party government is so important when it comes to community development. I think I will use this project as a model throughout the city. We want to do away with informal settlement over the next 10 to 15 years.”

Mashaba added that the City of Johannesburg is in discussion with Eskom to assist the community with proper electrification.

Nkosi Mthembu,who has lived in Zandspruit for the past 19 years,  said it was a promising sign to see all political parties going for the same goal.

“What we want is proper infrastructure in our community,” he said. “Politicians always come to us with different ideas especially towards elections. But this time I hope their promises will stand.” 1

Prayer march for Cosmo city amid escalating crime

“It is every Christian’s duty to pray against crime and violence, and we will continue doing that,” said 21ST Century Glorious Youth Movement cofounder Phuti Moyaha.

Moyaha spoke during a prayer march held in Cosmo City on 21 March 2019. The annual prayer march started from Cosmo City Church in extension 3 with scores of congregants and community members attending. Community members identified several crime hotspots and the congregants stopped in those places for prayers and declarations.

“We do this every year in different communities,” Moyaha said, “but it is our first time to mobilize people to pray for Cosmo City. We understand there has been a lot of disturbing stories in this community.”

“We are here to ask for divine intervention from God so that whatever violent activities are happening in these communities come to an end. We cannot accept this as a normal thing in our society.”

It is important to get the young people involved in positive community issues, Moyaha added. Over the past seven years, the 21st Century Glorious Youth Movement has provided a platform to equip  young people to deal with everyday challenges.

Protesting and destruction of infrastructure are not necessary for community development, according to Moyaha, but prayers are.

“People must also acknowledge that even with our liberation movement, prayer proved to be the key leading to our independence. However, it is not all about just praying without acting, “he said.

 21st Century Glorious Youth Movement and various churches also need to engage with organisations in Cosmo City to stop crime and violence, said Moyaha.

Cosmo City residents speaking to the Chronicle said they were happy for the community to be considered for such prayers.

“After what has been happening in the community,” Nomsa Ndlovu said, “I think such prayers were much needed. We hope this will lead to peace in our community.”

Mud isn’t just for pigs

About 300 people enjoyed a day of fun completing a doggy obstacle course with their canines at a Muddy Puppy event at The Wedge Outdoor Park in Muldersdrift on the 31st of March.

Oneplan Pet Insurance hosts the Muddy Puppy, which is usually a 4 km fun run or walk offering loads of hindrances and many mud baths, according to their website. The pet insurance company was originally involved in obstacle racing for humans when they opened a training centre at a dog-friendly place, said Lesley Delport, owner of the Muddy Puppy. “We were setting up one day and we happened to see some woman going over an obstacle with her dog. So we decided to combine the two.”

And that is how the Muddy Puppy was born.        

This was the first time that Oneplan held the event at The Wedge, said Delport. The five-hour long affair started at 7 am, when people arrived with their pets. “We can have up to 600 dogs at an event in the morning,” Delport said. Dog-lovers pay a R160 entrance fee, while their dogs get to tag along for free, according to an ad on the Muddy Puppy website. A lot of regulars showed up to support, Delport said.

“I didn’t really expect to see so many people,” said Warrick Ward, owner of The Wedge. “It was actually a pleasant surprise. A lot of guys came out to have a look at it.”

He said he was also quite surprised that the dogs were so well-behaved and that no fights broke out.

“We’ve actually been very lucky,” said Delport. “We’ve had scuffles at the most.”

The organization created a color-coding system to keep the dogs from barring their teeth at each other. If a dog is temperamental or unsocial, they wear a red or yellow bandanna around their neck and all the other owners know to keep their pets at a safe distance, she said. “People respect that.” 

Search and Rescue participants were also at the event to ensure the safety of individuals as well as Man’s Best Friends. “We work with many guide dog associations,” said Delport.

The Muddy Puppy supports a different charity for each event, she said. These charities include SA Basset Adoptions, Cause 4 Paws, Wollies Animal Project, Yorkie Rescue South Africa and many more, according to their webpage.  

The dog charities are usually in charge of washing the dogs after the race and they charge R30 per canine, Delport said, with all the proceeds from the dog baths going to the chosen charities.

The charity supported at The Wedge was The Society for Animals in Distress, which is the single-largest professional welfare veterinary care provider in South Africa, according to their website. A percentage of the day’s profit also went to this charity. Each time someone entered the race, they indirectly helped save a domestic animal from a needy community.  

The race consisted of a 2 km walking trail with some mud slides, a muddy dam, a slip-and-slide and small obstacles for the dogs to jump over or crawl through. The dogs could also get splashed with colorful powders.

“I’ve never done anything like this with the dogs before and I didn’t know how they were going to react,” said Anna Huysamen, a participant.   

Her dogs refused to go over some of the obstacles, Huysamen said. They sometimes crawled underneath instead of jumping over, she said.

Onlookers could hear the chants of many owners encouraging their dogs to jump over hindrances, while their pets ignored them and maneuvered around the obstacles.

“My favorite part was when we had to walk through the muddy water,” Huysamen said. “I fell into the mud a few times, but I still had a great time. I know my dogs enjoyed it as much as I did.”

Every time dogs finished the race, they received medals and had their pictures taken.

“All in all, it was a very successful day,” said Ward, adding that he hopes to accommodate the Muddy Puppy again when it returns in the summer months. He also said he plans to have a better trail that stretches onto the rest of the property. Some of the participants had to complete the course three or four times, he said. “Next time we’ll have one trail where some can run 2 km and others can track over 5 or 6 km down one trail.”

There are no upcoming events planned, according to the Oneplan website. The Muddy Puppy is held about seven or eight times during the summer months, because of the mud obstacles, said Delport. They also host in Durban and Cape Town. For more information contact the Muddy Puppy coordinators at info@muddypuppy.co.za .    

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