MEC Mandla Msibi has warned Mpumalanga communities not to swim in unsafe places and risk drowning.

The MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs was speaking during a cultural ceremony hosted by the Emjindini Traditional Council at the weekend.

This is after a 17-year-old boy drowned in the Komati River last week.

Msibi said he was concerned about the growing number of people who died while swimming in rivers.

“Our province is experiencing hot temperatures and, as such, people are enticed to swim in local rivers and some don’t find their way back.”

He said such deaths could be prevented and called on parents not to allow their children to swim without supervision.

He said: “Only those who can swim can go for fishing and for swimming.”

A total of 13 people drowned in local dams since the year began.

Msibi said his department had teamed up with police and disaster management units to provide swimming lessons, targeting school pupils.

Meanwhile, Chief Prince Nkosi also arned members of his tribal authority not to swim in unsafe places.