The community of Langa is demanding answers from the City of Cape Town after an 8-year-old boy drowned at the local municipal swimming pool a week ago.
Ovayo Sukwana’s body was discovered by a 14-year-old boy and brought to the surface. The incident occurred as the pool was about to close for the day. Lifeguards were on duty and were called to the scene.
Langa Residents’ Steering Committee secretary Queen Sibanda said the community wanted answers about why a young child drowned while lifeguards were on duty.
They demanded that the City conduct a full investigation and engage the community on its findings.
The committee also demanded the City pay the full costs of the funeral and give trauma counselling to the Sukwana family and the two boys who discovered the boy’s body. They also demanded catering on the day of the memorial service and the closure of the facility until the boy’s funeral and after the City had “formally engaged the residents”.
Mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien confirmed that relevant documents for burial assistance were submitted to the mayor’s office and that the ward councillor was facilitating the process.
He said in consultation with the ward councillor, the recreation and parks department decided to close the swimming pool until after the funeral.
“The department will thereafter reassess, in collaboration with the ward councillor, making appropriate arrangements for the reopening of the pool,” he said.
However, he said due to national regulations and internal City policies, assistance for catering on the day of the memorial service was “unfortunately not possible”.
With regard to trauma counselling, Badroodien said this service would be provided by the SAPS and the ward councillor would also ensure that it was offered to all other persons involved.
Badroodien said the department would also investigate the possibility of rolling out “learn-to-swim” programmes.
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Source: Cape Argus