Beach party

2008-01-05 00:00

Given South Africa’s history, cultural sensitivity is essential. So, too, is common sense. While communal events are a popular way of educating the public, there are good reasons why the organisation of music festivals by the provincial Department of Transport has been questioned.

The purpose is road safety awareness. Bashes may impart a message to those who attend. But many frustrated motorists would prefer international best practice: a high-visibility, effective traffic-police presence on the roads. All too often they witness extremely dangerous, potentially lethal, driving with no authority in sight.

Furthermore, the choice of Sodwana Bay beach as the venue for a jazz concert was bizarre. How were well-lubricated drivers persuaded against the long drive home? What did the MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs think about the ecological suitability of the venue? And what exactly did the MEC for Transport mean when he reportedly said that tourists could “take a run”?

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