Beach safety programme hailed a huge success at Port St Johns

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Improvements made to a beach safety programme in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape delivered a near perfect result this past New Year’s day. Operation Hlangula was launched back in 2010, as a safety net, especially with women and children in mind during the packed December festive season.

One child that went missing on Sunday was shortly reunited with her parents

Second beach is a globally renowned beach. It is also the biggest draw card every 1st of January, with thousands descending on it.

Since operation Hlangula’s inception, dozens of missing children were assisted. The mayor of Port St Johns, Nomvuzo Mlombile-Cingo, says the project is a large scale collaboration.

“Our Joint Operation canter is made up of Health, SAPS, Social development and the municipality. EMS is part of it, provincial Traffic department and our internal departments. So, we have plans in place that we started our operation in September, but we have intensified it till to date.”

“Children have tags with names and contacts of their parents, so that when that child gets lost, we are able to find them.”

Improvements made

In previous years re-uniting the children with their families was quite difficult. The spokesperson for the Department of Social Development in the O.R. Tambo region, Nomasakhe Nonxuba, says the improvments made to the project eradicated this issue.

“Before we used to have tents whereby, we accommodate lost children but now we have centres like Siyakhana for children that are lost , we just take them to Siyakhana so that the parent of the missing child could be able to take the child home. The operation has been so well organised,” Nonxuba elaborated.

A parent, Mandisa Mfihlo, supports the initiative.

“We are excited that our kids have arm belts with our contact details so that anyone who finds them can easily contact the parents, please continue doing it.”

Operation Hlangula also wants to improve its effectiveness in protecting women against violence and crime during the festive season. ‪

Operation Hlangula pays off in Port St Johns: