18 November 2018


Tigerkloof, Mahikeng represent NW at Road Safety Debate  

by: Obakeng Maje     date: 29 june 2018

Two schools from Bokone Bophirima province will represent the province at the national Road Safety Debate in the Eastern Cape. 
Tigerkloof High School from Vryburg won the provincial Road Safety Schools Debate while Mahikeng Secondary School took the second position. The debate competition was organised by the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management and the provincial finals were held at Taung Hotel School and Convention Centre on Friday 22 June 2018. 
Schools from across the province’s four regions participated in the debate whose topic was “SA is on course to achieve the sustainable development goal to reduce road crashes by 50% by 2020.”
According to research, road fatality is one of the prominent killers in the world. Chief Director in the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, Molefi Morule, said learners deliberated on methods of road safety improvement. These deliberations took place in three categories: Urban, Rural and Disability.
“The debate on safety measures to protect lives of road users was the order of the day with the aim of educating and instilling a culture of safe traffic participation to address the underlying problems of road safety. The debate was conducted in conjunction with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Department of Education and Sport Development,” Morule said. 
One of the participants from Tigerkloof High School is 17-year-old Ontshepile Maruping who is in Grade 11.  
“We were given an incredible platform to share our views on the topic. What we have learnt here also educates us and encourages us to go and spread the word.
“We are the ambassadors of the future. So, with such debate, we can certainly say the future is bright,” said Maruping. 
Mahikeng Secondary School participant, Rumbidzashe Chifeya (16) - also in Grade 11 - said they agree that South Africa can contribute to reducing road fatalities. 
“We agree with this because come to think of it, there is what we call the UN Decade of Action that started in 2011 to 2020. So, they have different strategies every year on how they can actually find the effectiveness of this decade of action plan, which is to reduce crashes by 50 % in 2020.
“Most fatalities are caused by drink and driving, unroadworthy vehicles, inaccessible roads and the use of cellphones, which is a distraction to drivers. I am grateful and feel privileged that I will be representing North West at national level,” Chifeya said. 
Both schools will merge and represent Bokone Bophirima together. 
The national event will be held in the Eastern Cape from 1 to 5 October 2018.  
Acting Deputy Director-General in Institutions Management, Governance and Support at the Department of Education and Sport Development, Dr Shadrack Mvula, said: “The main thing was to expose learners to road safety education, but it culminated in a final debate in which learners were participating in a researched topic on matters of road safety.
“Learners were looking at possibilities of South Africa contributing towards a global reduction of road accidents by 50%. I am very much impressed with the standard of the research work that was put in the work by the learners,” Mvula said. 
He added that for the road carnage to go down, motorists and pedestrians need to change their attitudes. 
One of the adjudicators - retired teacher, Kofi Tuglo - said the standard of the debate this year was quite high. Tuglo said the learners did a lot of preparation and research. 
“The only thing that I can advise on is that when they research they should be very certain about their references. The coaches also need to take learners through few points like doing more research, not to dramatise too much either through their voices or body movements.
“Learners should also be wary of attacking the personality of their opponents and rather stick to facts. They should also be recent and look at what happened in a few days and make reference to that. The debates assist learners to have a well-developed language proficiency and vocabulary,” he said.