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Children are being offered free swimming lessons at Soweto’s public pools this month as part of the City’s efforts to keep its citizens safe.
THE children of Soweto will be the beneficiaries of free swimming lessons as part of the City’s public safety campaign. The programme kicks off on Tuesday, 8 March, and aims to reduce the number of drownings by offering lessons to pupils in grades One to Seven at selected primary schools.


Children will be taught the dos and dontsChildren will be taught the dos and don'ts of being around water“Every member of the community should know how to swim, and we are starting with the kids as they are most at risk,” said Tshepo Mpshe, one of the campaign’s organisers.

It is their hope that the campaign will spread out to encompass other members of the community, but that will only take place in later phases of the project.

“We will teach the children the dos and don’ts of being in and around water, that they should not go swimming unsupervised and that they should not swim in rivers and in water where they can’t see the bottom,” he said.

The lessons form part of the campaign around swimming pools and water safety, which is spearheaded by the City of Johannesburg’s department of sport and recreation and emergency management services.

The first lesson will take place at the Senaoane swimming pool from 9.30am to 12pm; the next one will be held on 9 March at the Jabavu swimming pool from 10am to 2pm; the Diepkloof swimming pool will host the third one on 10 March from 9am to 3pm; and the final one will be at the Meadowlands swimming pool on 16 March between 9am and 3pm.

“The community should take it upon themselves to speak to the lifeguards and qualified instructors who are at the public pools every day, and arrange to receive lessons which could save their lives or those of their children,” Mpshe said.

Region D, in which Soweto falls, has 10 public swimming pools where qualified instructors teach swimming and lifesaving, and offer assistance to people with disabilities.

Operating hours are 10am to 6pm in the summer months and admission fees are adults – R5; children – R3; adults with disabilities – R2.50; children with disabilities – R1.50; and senior citizens – free. It is also possible to buy season tickets: adults – R180; children – R50; adults with disabilities – R90; children with disabilities – R25; and senior citizens – free.

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