DURBAN: 101212 Unidentified kids cooling off the heat as they are sliding into the swimming pool at the Durban beach front. PICTURE: GCINA NDWALANE

THE DA is appealing to parents using public swimming pools to keep a close eye on their children.

This follows reports that at least three people have died recently at public pools, which fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Joburg.

These deaths had occurred for several reasons, which needed to be addressed urgently, DA Joburg spokesman for sport and recreation Sipho Masigo said.

First, there are serious staff shortages, particularly a lack of lifeguards, at pools because of budget constraints. In some instances there were no more than one or two lifeguards looking after 300 to 400 people at a time, he said.

Second, security at the pools had largely been withdrawn, again because of budget constraints. People can freely smuggle alcohol and substances into the swimming area.

The DA has proposed that the council adopt volunteer programmes at swimming facilities.

Under this learnership initiative, volunteers are able to serve as lifeguards and security personnel and gain work experience and learn personal development skills.

The DA encourages swimmers to be responsible when using public facilities. In particular, parents are urged to keep an eye on their children at all times.

“These facilities are in place to be enjoyed and should not be the source of injury or tragedy.”