Winners of the Road Safety Debate Competition
Five learners who have been selected to represent the Western Cape at the National Road Safety Debate Competition in Nelspruit from 8 to 10 October 2014 are determined to make their mark and do the province proud.
Thembakazi Ntetha, Olwethu Sipakisi, Sisipho Mandla (all from Centre of Science and Technology), Oly Mtati (Sea Point High School) and Zanele Majikijela (Heideveld Secondary School) were the best debaters from ten competing high schools in the Western Cape Provincial Road Safety Debate Competition held at the University of Cape Town (UCT) on 6 September 2014. The competition was hosted by the Department of Transport and Public Works and the Township Debating League of UCT.
The competition, which forms part of the Road Safety Debate Project of the department, is an innovative participatory education approach to promote road safety awareness amongst young people in the Western Cape. The aim of the competition is to instil a culture of practical road safety among young pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, novice drivers and passengers.
David Frost of the department’s Road Safety Management component says South Africa generally has a poor road safety record with young people between 18 and 25 being the most vulnerable.
“These learners all come from high risk road safety areas and have shown today that based on knowledge given on critical issues, they can have an impact on creating awareness on road safety. We are proud of them as ambassadors for road safety in the province and wish them well for the nationals,” he said.
Oly Mtati (16) from Sea Point High school says it is a proud moment to get an opportunity to represent her province.
“It’s such a great opportunity and something that’s important to me because I love my province. I enjoy debating road safety topics as this improves my public speaking and analytical thinking skills,” says Ms Mtati.
“It also encourages teamwork. In addition to making my community, school and province proud, I am also a ‘voice’ for road safety issues.”
The learners will be assisted by the department and their team coach Bulelani Siyani from the Township Debating League in the coming weeks to prepare for the national Road Safety Debate Competition. The department will continue to strengthen these ties to ensure maximum impact of the project by promoting road safety awareness together.