The City is making maximum resources available to help the public navigate the first big festive season weekend, but cautions that it is a two-way street.
Cape Town has a strong tradition of beach attendance on Boxing Day and New year’s Day.
With the festive season overshadowed by a significant COVID-19 resurgence, it remains to be seen what the turnout at beaches and other public spaces will be this weekend.
The City’s Safety and Security Directorate will be on high alert, with increased patrols on the roads and beaches, to guard against alcohol abuse and other anti-social behaviour.
‘We ask that the public behave themselves in a manner that does not pose a risk to themselves or others, or sours the experience of those around them. The festive season is a time for letting one’s hair down, but it needs to happen responsibly. When one considers the health crisis that we continue to grapple with, the need for cool heads and accountability becomes even more apparent.
‘We remind the public that the disaster management regulations will be rigorously enforced, along with the City’s by-laws and any criminal activity, so the appeal is that they stay on the right side of the law,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Earlier this week, a high court ruling amended beach operating times, from 06:00 to 19:00. Initially, these times were set between 09:00 and 18:00.
‘We ask that people who do arrive at the beach early, particularly on Boxing Day, desist from swimming until lifeguards come on duty, for their own safety. Our Recreation and Parks Department notes an increase in persons congregating at other areas along the city’s coastline that are not manned by lifeguards, swimming in unsafe areas and consuming alcohol – most likely to avoid detection.
‘We are also concerned about anti-social behaviour at some of our swimming pools, stemming from a lack of understanding and cooperation around the limitation on the number of occupants. I appeal to the public to please do their bit and abide by the regulations, which are in place for their own protection,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
Away from public recreation areas, numerous City departments continue their education and awareness efforts around safety as relates to the festive season in terms of alcohol abuse, fire safety etc. but also COVID-19 health and hygiene protocols.
This includes compliance visits at establishments around the metropole.