Water debate at contest

Pictured are hosts, participants and their teachers at this years Ward 78 debating competition, hosted by Westridge library.

Pupils from two Mitchell’s Plain high schools, Portland and Rocklands, locked horns in the finals of the Ward 78 debating contest, held at the Lentegeur sub-council chambers, on Wednesday April 18.

Organised by Westridge library, the contest focused on water conversation and wastage, under the theme “excessive water users should be harshly punished”.

Portland was the proposition team, arguing that residents wasted water, which was a serious matter in light of the current drought.

Rocklands opposed them, saying that the government needed to realise their mistakes and that the public did not have the money for desalination.

Each team had three speakers, and two minutes each to make their statements, ask questions and refute what the other team said.

Adjudicator, Prakasen Naidoo, said the debate was good and the teams contradicted each other equally.

“Side proposition said water is a valuable resource, and therefore should not be wasted. And the opposition side said there is a lack of water so something needed to be done about it,” he said.

But it was Rocklands who walked away with the honours, following their success in 2015. Portland won last year. There was no debate in 2016.

Allison Jantjies, senior librarian and co-ordinator of the competition, said five of the schools surrounding the library were invited to participate, but due to the bus strike and other academic commitments only two schools attended.

She said the competition challenged pupils to think about what they read and engage with it, in the form of a debate.