Press release -
Discovery and Afrika Tikkun announce awards for exceptional drivers and new partnership in Western Cape and Gauteng for safe scholar transport
Cape Town, 14 December 2022 – The Discovery Fund, an arm of Discovery Limited’s corporate sustainability initiatives, today announced the relaunch of its programme – Discovery Safe Journey to School – in partnership with Afrika Tikkun. The announcement took place at an awards ceremony in Athlone, Cape Town, recognising the leading drivers in safely transporting children to and from school this year.
Discovery Safe Journey to School (SJS) programme
The Safe Travel to School (STTS) programme, created in the Western Cape in 2014, was recently rebranded to the Discovery Safe Journey to School (DSJTS) programme in partnership with philanthropic organisation, Afrika Tikkun. In the first quarter of 2023, DSJTS will expand into Gauteng.
The programme aims to encourage good driving behaviour – using innovative telematics technology – for drivers responsible for transporting school learners to and from schools, and makes transport safer for children, particularly in underserved areas.
Ruth Lewin, Head of Discovery’s Corporate Sustainability Initiatives says: “Discovery remains the key funder for the programme, but we are excited to partner with Afrika Tikkun. They are a well-established non-profit organisation dedicated to the reduction of youth unemployment in South Africa, by tackling socio-economic factors that make it difficult for young people to access the economy as productive citizens.”
Awards for safe driving
As part of Discovery’s healthy living and skills transfer initiatives, DSJTS drivers participate in eye tests, basic health screenings, advanced driving lessons and first-aid training. Their performance on the roads is measured through Discovery Insure’s innovative telematics devices which monitor speeding, harsh cornering, harsh breaking and cellphone use. This allows drivers to become more aware of their driving practices and dramatically improves their driving and safety awareness. Points are awarded to the highest scoring drivers who have met the full requirements of the programme.
The partnership named Edlyn Manho the top driver, based on this criteria. Manho won a cash prize to the value of R100 000. The two runners-up - Jan Johannes Kruger and Deidre Ivy Velensky - and the two most-improved drivers - Selobia Peterson and Isak Damon - won cash prizes totalling R100,000. Another ten drivers each won petrol vouchers.
Discovery’s telematics data reveals that driving behaviour in the programme improved – on average – by 14% annually, with an 82% reduction in harsh acceleration, a 63% reduction in harsh braking and an 81% reduction in harsh cornering over the first 12-24 months since drivers joined the programme.
“It is rewarding for us to see the commitment from this community of scholar transporters who put the safety of school children at the heart of the service they provide. Through our investment in the DSJTS initiative, Discovery is fulfilling our purpose creating change that has a real social impact. We look forward to creating more partnerships that will see this programme protect the safety of many more children as they travel to and from schools across South Africa,” says Lewin.
Keeping children safe on the road
There are often reports of horrific road crashes involving children going to school, whether they are pedestrians or passengers of an overloaded minibus. In 2021, there were 12,545 road fatalities according to the Road Traffic Management Corp (RTMC). About 17% were children aged four years and younger, 28% were people aged between 25 and 35, and 40% were pedestrians.
Since the safe journeys programme was initiated, 1,000 participating drivers safely transported more than 19,000 children to and from school every day. The drivers mainly transported children to primary schools, as well as schools for children with special needs. Importantly, the project has recorded no fatalities or collisions involving children since inception.
“Guided by Discovery’s core purpose to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives, we believe that creating a nation of better drivers would reduce and prevent road accidents and subsequently injuries of children travelling to school,” says Lewin.
Notes to editors:
How Safe Journeys to School works
- The programme comes at no cost for prospective scholar transporters. It requires them to have a driver’s licence, a public drivers permit (PDP) and a roadworthy vehicle.
- Working with Discovery Insure partners, C-Track and Tiger Wheel & Tyre, the tracking device that measures driving behaviour is installed in each vehicle, which undergoes an inspection to make sure it is roadworthy before being included in the programme
- Drives are measured and recorded by the telematics software, to produce a weekly score for each drive. To date, Discovery has awarded five scholar transporters a new Nissan minibus.
About Afrika Tikkun
Every child and youth has the right to a better life. It is also every child's right to nourishing food, warmth and a good education. Afrika Tikkun, a non-profit organisation, aims to give disadvantaged children the resources they need to thrive by offering Cradle to Career developmental programmes and a fully integrated social services programme for children in need.
They also place youth development at the centre of their service.
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life insurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment, and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-value Insurance model, active in over 40 markets with over 30 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets, including Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and South America.
In 2021, Vitality Health International (VHI) introduced shared-value health insurance to employer groups operating in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, as well as Travel for Treatment service to the rest of Africa.
Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY. Discovery Group is the holding company of Vitality Group in the USA and of Vitality UK.