Known for his toughness, rugby hero James Dalton is leading the charge against bullying in South African schools.
Schools are a place to create lifelong friendships, to learn and grow as you mature in a peaceful environment. However, this is sometimes not the case for some students who suffer from severe forms of bullying, from physical to verbal, throughout the halls of their institution.
According to a Stats SA report from 2021, approximately one million pupils nationwide experienced violence, corporal punishment, or verbal abuse at school. The report further revealed that a staggering 71% of these children were between the ages of eight and 10, placing them at primary school level.
It is for this reason that Dalton, known to his Springbok teammates as “Bullet”, saw a space which needed safeguarding and attention.
The My Safe Space initiative was introduced, a non-profit organisation that provides comprehensive security management to address the prevailing safety challenges in South African schools.
Dalton has dedicated himself to keeping South African children safe.
“Through my rugby journey, I was privileged enough to see what sport could achieve for people. However, in visiting schools as a Bullyproof ambassador, I also got to see the trauma and violence children are exposed to every day,” he adds. His love for children and drive to create safe spaces in schools is what spearheaded his approach to the My Safe Space initiative.
With plans to implement the latest security technology, the My Safe Space initiative is looking to ensure safe and secure school environments, through electric fencing, perimeter beams, CCTV with facial recognition, and access and movement control.
Partnering with VumaCam, a smart surveillance provider with the largest CCTV network in South Africa, Dalton has emphasised his intention to have continuous connectivity and fibre across the schools.
Dalton hopes to focus more on schools and communities in need that would benefit greatly from constant surveillance towards the prevention of violence and criminal incidents.
“We will seek donor funding to support our objectives of providing security technology systems to schools and communities that need it the most in our country,” Dalton said.