Authorities gear up for New Year festivities

2013-12-30 22:14

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Johannesburg - Law enforcement agencies appealed to revellers on Monday to abide by the law as they prepare to usher in the New Year.

The City of Cape Town said it was ready for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to descend on the city to ring in the New Year.

"Law enforcement officers will be deployed in the CBD, where the city is hosting a party on the Grand Parade to signal the start of its year as World Design Capital," disaster management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said in a statement.

"Other party hotspots such as Long Street will also be patrolled, as well as beaches where fireworks displays are held."

The city expected between 150 000 and 200 000 people on the beaches on New Year's Day.

"Visitors are reminded that alcohol is not permitted on the beaches. Officers have seized nearly 5000 bottles of alcohol from beach-goers since the beginning of the festive season," said safety and security head Richard Bosman.

The City of Johannesburg said it would host a New Year's Eve festival on Tuesday at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, in Newtown.

Artists such as Chomee, Kelly Khumalo, Mdu, Skwatta Kamp, Arthur, Ismael, Pro Kid, Brickz, Zola, Mshoza, Mandoza, DJ AJ, Mzambiya, Mshoza, DJ Shimza and Doc Shebeleza would entertain the crowds.

"More than 10 000 party-goers are expected to attend this year's party. The party will also include a massive 10 minute fireworks display at midnight," said spokesperson Tahir Sema.

Streets such as Miriam Makeba, Bree, Jeppe and Henry Nxumalo would be closed.

"People are strongly advised to behave responsibly. Bottled beverages, alcohol, fireworks and weapons will not be allowed in the venue," said Sema.

Emergency services, the police and Johannesburg metro police would be stationed across the CBD to keep an eye on revellers.

In Mpumalanga, police provincial commissioner Major General Meshack Nogwanya asked event organisers to submit their crowd management plans to their closest police station or have them ready should they be requested.

In terms of the law, an organiser should appoint a safety officer and should have a written safety plan detailing security measures, crowd management measures, motor vehicle parking and emergency medical measures, Nogwanya said.

"I therefore request co-operation from organisers of bashes and festivals to submit copies of their plans or have them ready should they be needed. Failure to comply will result in steps being taken against such an organiser."

This was meant to prevent stampedes as a result of venues being filled beyond their capacity during New Year's Eve celebrations, he said.

Nogwanya said the police would visit venues across the province to verify safety plans and establish whether they were filled beyond their capacity.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  cape town  |  johannesburg  |  new year

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