Five learners who will represent the Western Cape at the national Road Safety Debate Competition in Gauteng from 5 to 9 October 2015 are looking forward to making the province proud, and will continue to raise awareness of this vital issue.
Luthu Mlandeliso and Kholiswa Ntshinga (from Centre of Science and Technology), Siphesinathi Hasane (LEAP Science and Maths School), Andiswa Hlangana (Zikukhanyo High School) and Lungakazi Sarhile (Mfuleni High School) were judged to be the best debaters at the provincial Road Safety Debate Competition in Cape Town on 19 September. Learners from eight high schools participated in the event. The competition was hosted by the Department of Transport and Public Works, supported by the University of Cape Town’s Township Debating League.
The ultimate purpose of the competition is to instil a culture of responsible traffic behaviour from a young age. Because children and youth are a particularly at-risk group, the road safety debates target high school learners in their capacities as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, novice drivers, and passengers.
Ntshinga (17), who hails from Khayelitsha, was voted the competition’s best speaker.
“I am really excited to represent the province. My hard work paid off! I was unfortunate not to have made the provincial team last year, and was determined to make it this year. I value road safety and hope to continue debate around these issues, whether we win at the nationals or not,” she said.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Donald Grant was pleased to see that ongoing road safety education and awareness activities in schools are showing good results.
“We must take road safety seriously to increase wellness and safety in all our communities. As an ambassador for road safety in the Western Cape, every contestant here today was a winner. May they continue to spread road safety awareness for many years. This will contribute to a steady improvement in road traffic safety,” he said.
The Department and the Township Debating League will be assisting the provincial champions to prepare themselves for the nationals. For the foreseeable future, the Department will continue to work with its partners to promote road safety awareness in the schools and communities of the Western Cape.