Santa on Wheels comes to town!
9 Dec 2020
The ten year old Gautrain recently hosted the Santa on Wheels initiative for the ninth consecutive year by bringing an early Christmas Cheer to learners with disabilities from two Johannesburg based schools.
Selected learners and teachers from Ecaleni Primary School and Thembinkosi Special School, both from Tembisa in Johannesburg, had an opportunity to use the Gautrain, mostly for the first time to experience the accessibility that the platform offers for special needs.
“We are always going to do the Gautrain proud because everytime we are on the Gautrain, we are going to tell other people with disabilities that there is a train in their country that can take them,” said Mr. Musa E. Zulu, the Creative Director of Valhalla Arts, also the founder of the Santa on Wheels initiative.
“The Gautrain is yours! We are thankful to the government for the Gautrain because the train can take you from home to work and back,” Zulu added before noting,
“Teachers, kindly allow today’s excitement from the kids to continue. It is their right to enjoy and access public platforms like everyone else.”
The learners were taken from the Midrand Gautrain Station to the Park Station on the train followed by a luncheon at The Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein.
The early Christmas Cheer for the learners came in various goodie bags with gifts from various individual friends of Santa Wheels including corporates like TBFS, Nedbank, Motseng Investment Holdings, the Cape Town based Brave Recovery Warrior and the Gautrain Management Agency.
“We are pledging another nine years of partnership with the Santa on Wheels initiative so that disability remains included on our platforms, ” said the CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency, Mr. William Dachs.
On supporting and partnering with the initiative, the Managing Director of TBFS, Mr. John Turnbull said, ” There is positive messages that are coming from disability that we wish to highlight. We are keen to associate with these messages to highlight and sensitize on disability awareness.”
Various representatives were present from Nedbank, the Premier’s office and Department of Transport.
Various literature offerings will be sent to school libraries by SATRIX, the Cambridge University Press and the Gautrain Management Agency to extend benefit to other schools outside Gauteng.
The Santa on Wheels initiative was started in Durban, KZN in 2007 and from 2011, moved to Gautrain to take advantage of the most accessible public transport platform that showcases universal design, access and inclusion for persons with disabilities.
The initiative aims to bring early Christmas Cheer to learners with disabilities and showcase public places that are accessible.