Pretoria - The Tshwane Community Safety Department has unveiled a series of measures to prevent drowning during the rainy season.
At least five people drowned in heavy floods in the area in December alone. According to the department's director, Commissioner Mpho Mmutle, there has been a marked increase in cases of drowning around Gauteng in recent years.
"Every year we lose a lot of children due to drowning," Mmutle said. He noted that the onset of warm weather and summer rainfall also meant that conditions on the roads, public spaces and rivers became hazardous.
Mmutle said to prevent drowning in public amenities such as municipal swimming pools, the department will introduce tough regulations on the use of alcohol inside these facilities.
Emergency response systems will also be tightened to improve the way emergency personnel respond to drowning incidents. A series of campaigns will be undertaken to educate the public on measures to prevent drowning.
Parents have been urged never to allow children near streams or rivers and also avoid crossing a river when it had been raining. There should also be attempts to ensure that children never swim in pools without adult supervision