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MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi has unveiled a sport and arts programme to encourage water safety and responsible behavior during the festive season at the launch function held at the St Michaels Beach near Margate on the KZN South Coast on Thursday, 08/12/16.             

The programme involves both the Department of Sport and Recreation and Arts and Culture.    

MEC Sithole-Moloi said the two departments have an important role to play in making the festive season safer using arts and sports.

“The thrust of our programme revolves around utilising sport and arts as mediums to prevent the unnecessary loss of life and limb that often accompany this jolly period. We are saying that people must enjoy themselves but they must also ensure that they look after themselves. Our programmes range from swimming lessons for children at swimming pools, beach sports and festivals, aerobics, chess lessons at libraries, ingoma as well as other events that are aimed at keeping the youth occupied,” she said.

Sithole-Moloi added that the drowning statistics in the country were alarmingly high and KwaZulu-Natal is leading with the number of deaths as a result of drowning.

“A study conducted by Netcare 911 in 2015 showed that KwaZulu-Natal has the highest deaths related to drowning, with 40% of the national statistics. Coastal areas account for 69% of drowning incidents, and 55% incidents happen in summer more than in any other period of the year. For the youth and adults drownings are usually alcohol related, which may suggest a lack of education on dangers of swimming after drinking,” said Sithole-Moloi.

Learn to swim

She said KZNDSR is partnering with water sport federations to draw up a water safety strategy, which is a coordinated effort to deal comprehensively with water safety and development of water sport.



During the Festive season KZN Aquatics will lead the learn to swim programme to teach children swimming skills at swimming pools, to be manned by qualified instructors, around the Province.

Beach Festivals

The Department is also partnering with Municipalities along the KZN Coastline to deliver Beach Festivals that involves beach sport, water safety demonstrations, education and entertainment.



“Our main message is to discourage drinking and swimming, reckless sexual behaviour and swimming at unguarded beaches. We also encourage people to remain active and healthy by exercising, playing sport and eating correctly even during the festive season,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.

The Beach Festivals will be organised in the following areas:

Umzumbe (16 December), oThongathi (18 December), Blythedale in KwaDukuza (26-27 December), eThekwini (28, 29, 30 December), St Michaels Beach (28-29 December) and Richardsbay (31 December – 01 January).

Chess in Libraries

KZNDSR and DAC are partnering with Chess KZN for the chess in libraries programme. The aim is to have chess played in all libraries with the aim of creating chess clubs. Qualified instructors will be available at selected libraries and chess board will be available on request for any individual wishing to play.

In addition the Department will support the Jacob Zuma Chess tournament to be held a Sibusisiwe Hall in Mandeni on 20 December.

The JG Zuma Football tournament will take place at Eshowe High School on 17 December.

Other DAC supported events

The Department of Arts and Culture will support Umkhosi Woselwa at ENyokeni Palace in KwaNongoma on 13-18 December.

“Some of the activities include a cultural programme and workshops where young men are groomed on the basics of what it means to be real men especially in the context of protecting women and children. Sports activities will also take place during the ceremony.”

Other DAC events include Awesome Ilembe on 27 December, Ingoma YaseNquthu on 19 December and Ingoma eQhudeni on 30 December.

  
 
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