Marine Parade residents protest blocked roads

2007-12-15 00:00

New concrete slabs and booms blocking access to some roads along the beach have been described by residents along the Marine Parade as an inconvenient infringement of their rights.

“It’s good for tourists and holiday makers,” said Jay Styn who lives at the Montezuma flats, but the measures will deny access to Marine Parade residents’ own visitors, he added.

Metro Police spokesperson Superintendent Thozamile Tyala countered that all security measures at the beach — including a system of permits — are aimed at access control.

He added, “These are not road closures, they are just promoting pedestrian safety and traffic flow because the beach has an influx of visitors during this season.”

Peter Bendheim of Durban Africa told Weekend Witness that the city was expecting between 700 000 and one million visitors throughout the holiday period.

He said that beach security was not about protecting only certain people, but rather about protecting all beach users.

“All the plans for the beach will definitely give Durban a great season,” said Bendheim.

A recent statement from the eThekwini Municipality on the policing plan reads, “With the good relationships which we have with other law enforcement agencies and private security companies, we are sure to claim back our streets.”

A resident at Golden Sands, Fred Botha, said that with stepped-up police patrols, there would be more protection in the area.

“At least we don’t get robbed, but we were alerted at such short notice. To make matters worse, the map of the blockade was in some newspaper. Why couldn’t they issue pamphlets?” he said.

Hendrietta van der Byl of Edenroc said it would be “impossible” to gain access to her home.

Tyala said residents of the Marine Parade had ample time to raise their views in committee meetings. “I’m not sure what steps they can take now.”

Special parking has been reserved for buses and taxis along the beach route. Tyala urged all the people living along the beach to collect their permits from Metro Police offices as security operations had already started.

sne@witness.co.za

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