PUPILS HITCH-HIKING AFTER SCHOOL
By: S’bahle Ngcobo
Media reports usually shows people being killed, rape, assaulted or kidnapped by strangers but these incidents don’t stop pupils from hitch-hiking.
According to Timeless Traveling site, hitch-hiking is not generally viewed as dangerous although it can be risky at night and for minors.
Pupils at Ndengetho High School, hitch-hike at Tom Tom main road near kwaNdengezi shopping centre after school during weekdays to get home.
Menzi Shabalala (17) a learner at Ndengetho said that he lives far from the school and it happens sometimes that he doesn’t have money for public transports, he then hitch-hikes to
“This is what I usually do every time I come from school.
It doesn’t scare me as long as I get home safe, I am fine.
When I’m hiking I don’t choose cars, I just stop any car as long as I won’t pay a cent,” Shabalala added.
Sboniso Shangase (18) another pupil said that he is used to hiking but he does not enjoy the life of getting “free lifts”.
“I know that I risk with my life but there’s nothing I can do. I’m just a teenager who’s living with his grandmother, who only receives a pension grant a month and it’s not enough to
support me in everything I need especially bus fare as it costs too much,” said Shangase.
He said his grandmother gives him R25 a week to catch a bus to get to school and that money only last him less than three days because the bus return costs R12 a day.
Phumlani Ngubo, a teacher at Ndengetho, said that he usually see his learners hiking, especially boys.
“I fear for the children and I don’t even know how I’m going to stop them from what they’re doing. Nowadays people are kidnapped, and there’s human trafficking and it’s not safe to get
into a strangers car,” Ngubo explained.
Ndengetho’s Principal, Norman Mbatha said that he will organise a meeting with parents and the school governing body members to sort the hiking problem.
“We will help all the learners who are staying far away from the school to get transport that will transport them to their homes,” Mbatha said.
He added that it is only possible to provide transport for learners if the Department of Education intervene with funding.