Adding touch of splendour to rural setting

Letta Baloyi, 50, from Rotterdam village, clearly remembers the last time she went for a swim in a river near her home in 1979.

"We were swimming in the Klein Letaba 'Retabi' River when two girls got in to swim and they disappeared under water. The incident shook me so much I stopped swimming," Baloyi says.

She is speaking to Sowetan at Tshepisho Entertainment Center, a fairly new development in the area where entrepreneurs have opened entertainment facilities, which include swimming pools, in villages in Limpopo.

Baloyi says she was thrilled because this meant children and adults could have fun and still be safe. "These pools give us peace of mind," she says.

Phetole Modika, a headman at Ga-Maphalle village, says he was also happy about the development.

"We had a lot of cases in the past where children drowned in dams and open holes that filled up during rainy seasons. The facilities are also uplifting the image of our village. Growing up, we didn't know what a pool looked like. Now we are happy that children are exposed to these things," he says.

Idah Manganyi, 50, from the same village, who brought her children to Tshepisho Entertainment Centre, says being there was an opportunity for her to bond with her children.

"I no longer have to worry about my children going to dams because they know that I often bring them here," she says.

Nkhensani Baloyi, Mapula Maswanganyi and Ntumbuluko Mabunda, are among dozens of parents who brought their children to swim at Dinaledi Leisure Resort.

"I am always busy but here I have time to play with my children and it means the world to them," Baloyi says.

Kate Mathebula, from Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, says: "This place is amazing. I was drawn by the beauty of this place. It is hard to believe that you are in a rural area. The view of the bush takes my breath away."

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