Free swimming lessons

Schoolchildren are taught how to swim at a municipal swimming pool.

As South Africa braces itself for heavy rains, hail and thunder, the City of Johannesburg is providing free swimming lessons, in an attempt to make people more prepared for floods and dangerous situations.

Drownings account for many fatalities during the summer and rainy months. Many people swim in open waters like rivers and dams, where safety becomes a concern.

The City’s emergency management services teamed up with Swimming South Africa, an organisation focused on teaching South Africans how to swim, to get invaluable lessons across the city’s seven regions.

Children from various public schools are given free swimming lessons until they become comfortable with the water and understand the risks when it comes to swimming.

The City feels that if people know what to do in dangerous situations, serious injury or death can be prevented.

This is why the City teamed up with Swimming SA three years ago.

Children receive a free swimming lesson at one of the City of Johannesburg’s public pools.

Swimming SA’s mass participation and club development national coordinator, Mafata Modutoane, said the organisation has reached out to 13 schools to give swimming lessons. At least 16 000 children benefited from these lessons and can now swim.

He agrees that learning to swim is a vital life skill. “One life lost to drowning is one too many. This is why we aim to teach young kids to swim, for free,” he said.

Residents can contact their nearest fire station or municipal swimming pool to find out more about free swimming lessons.


Remember these safety tips when you get near water:

  • Never leave children unattended in or around pools, not even for a second
  • Only swim in a public pool if there’s a lifeguard on duty
  • Never dive into the water unless the lifeguard says it’s safe to do so
  • As a family, take swimming lessons and learn CPR
  • Do not cross a flooded river
  • Do not drive across flooded roads
  • If a path is flooded, use an alternative route
  • If your car stalls in a flooded area, leave it and move to higher ground immediately
  • Never build on river banks.

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Chantelle Fourie

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