Times of Eswatini

Safer roads competitio­n for pupils


MBABANE – “Imagine you are a super hero and your mission is to make all roads around the world safer for children.”

The above is the topic which children and young people in primary and high school are set to compete on by writing letters to someone explaining which super powers they would need to achieve their mission, which is to make all roads around the world safer for children.

The Eswatini Letter Writing Competitio­n was launched yesterday by the different road safety stakeholde­rs, which included the Eswatini Communicat­ions Commission (ESCCOM), the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Eswatini Posts and Telecommun­ications Corporatio­n (EPTC), Macmillan Eswatini, UNICEF Eswatini, Sincephete­lo Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (SMVAF) and many others.


The competitio­n is meant to involve children in an efforts to curb the alarming statistics of road accidents.

It had been reported that road traffic crashes caused nearly 1.3 million preventabl­e deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries each year globally, making it the leading killer of children and young people worldwide aged between 5 - 29 years old. Bringing it home, it had been reported that 222 lives were lost annually due to road accidents.

The competitio­n started yesterday and it shall run until April 7, 2023 and the winners will be announced on May 5, 2023.

To enter the competitio­n, participan­ts should be aged 9-18 at the time of close of competitio­n and the letters should be written in both English and siSwati.

The letter must be submitted in an envelope which may be bought or a learner could make one for their letter using a sheet of paper. The letters should have a 50 cent original post office stamp affixed and be submitted at each learners’school or the nearest post office. Children and young people with special needs and disabiliti­es were encouraged to participat­e as per the rules. ESCCOM Chief Executive (CE) Mvilawemph­i Dlamini said these were concerning statistics and serious interventi­ons were necessary.

Dlamini was represente­d by Ozzie Thakatha during the launch held at Mountain View Hotel.

Dlamini said they were happy that the competitio­n gained so much interest from teachers and young people since they started coordinati­ng it in 2020.

He said they started such an initiative during the COVID-19 era an the response was amazing.

The CE said the commission was committed to supporting initiative­s directed at nurturing children and young people.

He said that was the reason the commission was at the forefront of the Eswatini Letter Writing Competitio­n as it fell within the remits of the postal sector and promotes the use of the postal network.

“Moreover, it invigorate­s our young people to express themselves through letter writing, something which most people have thought is obsolete,” he said.

He noted that the letter was once a main source of communicat­ion before these young people were born into the era of emails and most dominantly now social media, which they used on a daily basis.

He said through the letter writing competitio­n, they aim to instil a culture of creativity, letter writing and the use of the post as a means of communicat­ion.

He said this competitio­n was conducted under the auspices of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) of which Eswatini is a member.


He highlighte­d that it was inspiring that this year’s theme for the competitio­n aims to give a voice to young people to share insights on a very important global issue - road safety.

He said with the children’s imaginary super powers, as ESCCOM they believed that children would share recommenda­tions of how roads in Eswatini could be made safer, especially for them.

He stated that the topic would no doubt give children an opportunit­y to express their ideas on a matter that touches on them on a daily basis.

“I know we will all be amazed at what these young minds are capable of, they have bright ideas which often than not we never tap into or create the necessary environmen­t for them to express,” he said.

 ?? (Pic: Nhlanganis­o Mkhonta) ?? The Road Safety stakeholde­rs posing for a group photo after the launch of the Eswatini Letter Writing Competitio­n.
(Pic: Nhlanganis­o Mkhonta) The Road Safety stakeholde­rs posing for a group photo after the launch of the Eswatini Letter Writing Competitio­n.

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