Beach parties rile locals

2012-12-10 00:00

YOUNG holidaymakers may be enjoying the inaugural ibeach Xplosion party at St Mike’s beach on the South Coast, but businesses and residents say they are losing money and sleep due to the event.

Businesses situated near the beach say their profits have declined from the same period last year because the event did not attract holidaymakers and the main parking area was occupied by the organisers.

The ibeach Xplosion is a new music and lifestyle event consisting of fashion shows, comedy competitions, live acts, local and international DJs, and parties, which ran from December 1 to 8.

The Hibiscus Coast Municipality is a partner in the event.

Daytime events were free to the public, but night parties were between R120 and R180 a ticket.

“Access to the beach has been fenced, so holidaymakers have to park 500 metres away and walk to the beach,” said Gert Jacobs, owner of Ocean Fish and Take-away.

“This event has done nothing for business. Holidaymakers say they would rather go to Uvongo or Margate beach.

“My business was buzzing during the same time last year, but this year it is dead,” he said.

Another business owner added that the event attracted the younger generation, who were not in a position to spend money in the restaurants and businesses.

“These people are only here for the free stuff. I counted 24 people on the beach on Thursday. That is sad. Usually the beach is full during the December month,” he said.

The man said he had lost R60 000 in one week because patrons refused to eat dinner at his restaurant with the music blaring and the windows vibrating.

“My regulars will come back, but I have not had many holidaymakers at my business. I have lost money and only hope that I can make it up once this event is over,” he said.

The man added it seemed that the party was being held in the parking lot and not on the beach.

“The night events were expensive for some and if people can’t afford the entrance fee, they stand outside their vehicles in the parking lot, drinking and dancing to the music.”

Riaan January, who lives in a complex near the beach, said he phoned the police at 3 am on Friday morning to report the public disturbance.

“These people were screaming and partying. It is absolutely ridiculous. A lot of us have to work in the morning,” he said.

Emily Kruger, a holidaymaker from Johannesburg, said it was “ridiculous” that the main parking area at the beach was closed.

“I have three little children and my parents are elderly. It is ridiculous that they have to walk such a distance to the beach.

“This is not what I had in mind when I decided to come to St Mike’s for a holiday,” she said.

Hibiscus Coast Municipality spokesperson Xolani Dlangalala acknowledged the complaints put forward and would respond in due course.

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