MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in Mpumalanga, Mr Mandla Msibi has issued a warning about an increase of the number of fatalities due to drowning. Several fatalities have been reported in the province in the rivers and dams. In July, five (5) fatalities occurred, with one (1) of them in Vosman, three (3) of them in a dam in Emalahleni and one (1) in a river in Alkmaar outside Mbombela.
Mr Msibi called on communities not to risk their lives by swimming in rivers and dams. These fatalities are a serious cause for concern.Our communities are enticed to swim in the local rivers and dams to cool themselves off due to soaring hot temperatures. We have observed that the victims go to the rivers for fishing expedition and as such some do not find their way back. We call on all communities not to expose themselves to the risk of drowning,” Mr Msibi cautioned.
The Department has teamed up with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Municipal Disaster Management units to provide swimming lessons, targetting learners at schools. Mr Msibi says fatalities in the water can be mitigated if communities take heed of the precautionary measures. “These fatalities can be prevented if communities take heed of precautionary measures. We call on parents not to allow their children to swim without supervision,”he said. The Department has established a Disaster Toll Free number for communities to report cases of emergencies to save lives. The number is 0800 202 507.