In the middle of the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg lies the beautiful Braamfontein Spruit. The Delta Park section, that runs from Conrad Drive in the North and Emmarentia in the South, is one of the largest and busiest public open spaces in the city. Until recently, it was also one of the most dangerous.
Prior to the establishment of Jozi Trails’ Trail Guardian community patrols in 2020, there was on average, one mugging reported in the area per week. This statistic is what inspired Jozi Trails – an NGO committed to uplifting the park, with a focus on safety. It was established in 2017 to keep the public trails along the Spruit safe, attractive and accessible – and to call for volunteers to join their Trail Guardian project to tackle the problem of crime in Delta Park. Jozi Trails works on behalf of the Metro to develop and maintain all the trails along the Braamfontein Spruit. This includes those in Delta Park.
Jozi Trails recruited other like-minded concerned community members to join their initiative as Trail Guardians. “These dedicated individuals volunteer their time to observe park-users and if needed, report suspicious activity to the local security authorities. Their visibility had a massive and almost immediate impact, with crime in the park reducing,” says David Kramer, manager of Jozi Trails.
South Africa’s only insurer dedicated to putting women’s safety first, 1st for Women Insurance, recently partnered with Jozi Trails to enhance its safety initiatives and encourage more people to experience the beautiful Braamfontein Spruit.
“The Trail Guardians are an extension of our Guardian Angel on Call fleet of pink Toyota Urban Cruisers which are on call, 24/7, to protect and guard female motorists following a breakdown or car accident. We know that when women feel safe, they can live more fearlessly. When sunsets are not curfews, they’ll be able to do more, be more and achieve more, says Seugnette van Wyngaard, Head of 1st for Women.
“We are thrilled to partner with a company whose core values align so closely to ours,” says Kramer. “With the support of 1st for Women, we will be able to expand our efforts beyond Delta Park and increase our security along the current trails.”