Pretoria: 11 March 2019
Rapid transformation and development of South Africa’s maritime economic sector will require several interventions among which must be a comprehensive education, training and skills programme to equip particularly youth with the requisite knowledge that will ensure meaningful inclusion and participation.
According to Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande this may include school going children in particularly coastal areas of the country being required to learn how to swim as part of their basic education.
South Africa’s coastline covers a length of some 3 200km along which four provinces; KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape are settled, from the Indian Ocean in the east, Southern Ocean in the south through to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
Swimming as a possible compulsory subject for South African schools was among a raft of projects proposals mentioned and discussed at the recent maritime transport sector inaugural dialogue held in Durban.
In his closing remarks of the gathering, Dr Nzimande said the seriousness of the proposal for swimming to be a compulsory school activity was such that it might become a necessary competency that is a condition to exiting high school.
“I cannot commit to the idea until it has been canvassed with the relevant departments including the Minister of Basic Education. But I think it’s a good idea that we should not allow any child to complete matric without also learning to swim.,” he said.
Jokingly he said that of all sports codes in the country, swimming was the only sports the majority of South Africans – precisely black people – did not really care about its transformation because, he said: “They are afraid of water.” This had to change, he said, in order to broaden and deepen transformation of the maritime transport sector.
Among other issues the maritime transport sector could look forward to in 2019 would be the launch of an Inland Waterways Strategy following to its approval by government recently.
For Dr Nzimande’s full remarks, click on the video below.
Meanwhile, a Maritime Transport Sector Declaration developed and adopted by delegates to the Department of Transport convened two-days meeting in Durban has been released and shared with delegates this past week.
To access and download the document, click on the link below: