A TOTAL of 242 buses will transport maidens from all over KwaZulu-Natal to Enyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma this weekend for the annual Umkhosi woMhlanga (reed dance). Of that number, 75 have been co-ordinated by the KZN Department of Arts and Culture and the remainder by municipalities, this according to a statement issued by the Department of Arts and Culture on its state of readiness to host this event.“As per the usual safety regulations, all transport suppliers must have provided their licenses, permits and insurance documentation, passenger liability, for validity checking. Districts that have organised their own transport have been advised to carry out thorough inspections to ensure the road worthiness of the vehicles they will provide,” said the statement.The department said it will be working in partnership with the Zulu royal household, provincial Department of Transport and the SAPS throughout the weekend to ensure the safety of the maidens. “The registration process of all maidens has already taken place and all those under the age of 21 have had their indemnity forms signed by parents or guardians,” said the statement.The three-day programme includes a career expo with the KZN Film Commission, DTI, the National Youth Development Agency, government departments and various tertiary institutions. “This is to expose the maidens to possible career paths as well as to advise them on the critical skills needed in the fields they want to enter.”Non-schooling maidens will present their reeds to King Goodwill Zwelithini on 9 September and the rest of the girls on the following day. He will deliver his main address on Saturday 10 September.The department warned that no alcohol will be allowed at the venue and authorities will conduct random roadside breathalyser tests. - Supplied.