Local debaters and coaches flew the Northern Cape flag high when they scooped five top positions during what was described as a robust annual National Road Safety Competition in Rustenburg, which ended on Friday, 6 October.
The national competition saw debater Unam Mxaxa dubbed the best speaker in the urban debate category and Palesa Hoye as the best coach in the category.
The Northern Cape urban debate category team obtained second position, while the rural debate category team came third.
The Participatory Education Techniques (Pet) project in the urban category also obtained third position.
Boikanyo Bacana (17) from the John Taolo Gaetsewe District said the experience has been very educational.
“As a debater I am not only competing to win, but to sharpen my debating and research skills.
“I get to cement information in my head and I believe it will assist me in making better decisions as a road safety ambassador in my community and with my peers.
“Government is trying with its effort to keep road users safe on the roads, so it is up to us to adhere to the rules and help them win the struggle of reducing accidents on our roads,” said the eloquent Bacana.
Rethabile Makoloi (17) from the Frances Baard District, said nervous as she was, she knew that she only had to do her best and leave the rest in God’s hands.
“Road safety is a very crucial subject in our country at the moment and sadly the youth are the most affected, hence given the opportunity to address.
“I would plead that we take cognisance of how it impacts us as the youth and educate ourselves around road safety matters and establish ourselves as road safety ambassadors,” concluded Makoloi.
The head of the Department of Transport in the province, Moeketsi Dichaba, expressed his pride at the team and at how the province was proud of the young participants and how they represented it.
“They showed tenacity and understanding on road safety issues during the competitions.
“We are very proud of them for their achievements in the competition, but also for sharpening their debating, team work and research skills.
“The best of all is their knowledge and passion for road safety,” Dichaba said.
Altogether 25 youths represented the province in the debating Pet categories, all comprising five urban and rural teams respectively.
The Road Safety Debates aim to raise awareness among the youth of the importance of road safety, while the Pet category awards learners the opportunity to identify problems around their schools and community in relation to road safety and build models depicting the problems and possible solutions.
The competition commenced with the district leg and proceeded to provincial rounds where the best young speakers received the honour to represent the province at the national leg of the competition to compete against other provinces.