At least seven schools in the region are part of the programme. Picture: Pexels

Johannesburg - Ekurhuleni metro announced this week that it will offer free swimming lessons to school children in an effort to curb drownings.

Ekurhuleni metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe said a  fully functional "Learn To Swim" container would be launched at Nkabinde Primary School in KwaThema on Friday.

''The free, fun and safe swimming lessons target children from Grade 1 to 3 and are run by Ekurhuleni lifeguard officials, as well as eastern Gauteng Aquatics swimming instructors, with selected schools in Ekurhuleni,'' said Gadebe.

''The container pool is a standard shipping container which has been converted into a swimming pool. This pool is movable and therefore can be installed at any location desired.''  

At least seven schools in the region are part of the programme and a further 2 000 participants who use swimming pool facilities in Actonville, Alberton, Benoni, Leondale, Reiger Park and Vosloorus.

''The lessons are currently run with children from selected schools. The city is optimistic that such initiatives will expand further in ensuring that more children are safe in water, and inspire an interest in swimming to minimise drowning incidents,” said Gadebe.