Driving school owner helps open new doors
PUTTING residents of Helenvale in the driver’s seat good and proper has become the priority of a former resident of the suburb, who will ensure they are now upwardly mobile in more ways than one.
Jenovian Arends, 32, runs his own driving school and will be assisting 100 Helenvale residents to obtain their learner’s licence – and in the future, their driver’s ticket – in a community upliftment programme.
Arends will also assist individuals if they experience difficulty in obtaining their licences.
Applicants are tasked with filling in a form providing their personal details, after which Arends sends them a text message to arrange a meeting.
Applicants then attend three learner’s licence classes before booking for the test and three more before the actual test.
Applicants only pay a minimal fee for the booking of the test and the issuing of the learner’s document if they pass.
Arends, who was born and raised in Helenvale, started his school in June this year after previously being employed as a driver trainee in the Coega Driving Training Programme.
“Uncle Billy [Paulson] helped me to get my licence. He paid for the booking, he told me I could not continue to drive without a licence, so I am very grateful to him,” he said.
“Uncle Billy helped me to make a change in my life. He stood by me and supported me throughout my endeavours.”
Arends, who is a member of the Network Support Group, believes that through the acquisition of a driver’s licence, people will have doors open for them that they never thought possible.
“I want to make a positive change, not only in the community of Helenvale, but also in other northern areas suburbs. However, I have to use my own area as a starting point.”
Arends, who now lives in Booysen Park, had to leave school in Grade 9 to provide for his family.
Since opening his business, which is situated opposite the Cleary Park Shopping Centre, he has been inundated with bookings, some of them even from out of town, he says.
“Knowing that people drive past many other driving schools just to use our services is nothing but a blessing.”
Rodney Swartbooi, 30, attained his learner’s licence through Arends’s school and will go for his driver’s licence test early next year.
“I must commend Gino [Arends] for the work he is doing . . . he is such an inspiration.”