City’s festive season plan priorities safety

2016-12-13 06:01
EThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede speaks at the launch of festive season plan  in Tongaat. Photo: supplied

EThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede speaks at the launch of festive season plan  in Tongaat. Photo: supplied

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ETHEKWINI Municipality’s Festive Season plan will focus on clamping down on lawlessness and preventing road accidents by deploying additional law enforcement officers to ensure safe holidays for residents and tourists in the city.

Unveiling the city’s Festive Season Management Plan last week, eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said Durban is ready to put its best foot forward to welcome holiday makers.

The municipality has put together a comprehensive integrated summer season plan and pulled out all the stops to ensure that visitors will enjoy the warm weather, warm beaches, be welcomed by friendly people and have a memorable holiday.

The peak season plan will be in operation from 7 December to 20 January 2017. The launch of the festive season comes as Gumede celebrates 100 days in office.

“The safety of our patrons is a key priority as promised in my inaugural speech, thus, eThekwini Municipality and other stakeholders have put special measures in place to ensure that locals and visitors alike enjoy a safe and hassle free stay in our beautiful city,” said the mayor.

Law enforcement officers will be out in full force. Metro Police officers, members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), beach law enforcement officers and additional security personnel will conduct regular patrols around the city and at all beaches to ensure that law and order prevails. Extra security guards will be hired to complement law enforcement officers on the beachfront and will be deployed to key hot spots.

Metro Police will be out in full force conducting several road safety checks to ensure that the use of unroadworthy vehicles, drunken driving and irresponsible conduct on the road is curbed. They will also be on the lookout for any general by-law and traffic contraventions as well as criminal activities.

To control traffic on the beachfront, certain roads leading into the beachfront will be closed and some will be boom gate controlled. On peak days, the boom gates will be closed and only permit holders will be allowed access to the beachfront.

Life guards will be on duty to ensure the safety of swimmers from 6am to 7pm daily. Patrons are urged to swim between the beacons and listen to the lifeguards at all times.

To prepare for the high numbers of visitors to the beaches, wrist bands have been procured, which all children will have to wear when entering the beachfront area. These wristbands contain the details of their guardians in the event that a child is separated from their guardian.

Over 25 child-minders have been employed to look after lost and separated children until such time that they are reunited with their parents or guardians.

Approximately 60 beach buddies will be situated at various beaches around the city and will be on hand to offer any type of assistance to the visitors. Additional seasonal lifeguards will be deployed at various beaches. All bathing beaches will be operational between 6am and 6pm on a daily basis. In addition, 47 pool buddies will be placed at pools throughout the eThekwini region.

The Durban Solid Waste Unit has appointed 85 additional staff litter pickers and has placed additional litter bins in key areas with high volumes of visitors such as the beachfront. Three shifts will ensure that the city’s beachfront remains spotlessly clean over a 24-hour period.

Special teams are also in place to ensure that entertainment areas, such as Florida Road and Helen Joseph Roads are also kept free of litter. Staff will be out in full force in these areas from 6am to 10pm.

This year the city has embarked on an intensive marketing campaign to attract visitors from all over the world, with the overall message being, Sunsational Durban, 100% pure summer. It is expected that approximately 1.3 million visitors will visit the city during the festive season period and enjoy a ‘sunsational’ summer holiday.

Gumede said: “Let me also remind visitors that our region is blessed to have a multitude of attractions, from the beaches to the Valley of a Thousand Hills, to the pristine Inanda Dam for the adventure seeker to the Inanda Heritage route for those who wish to delve into the rich cultural diversity and history that our city enjoys. I urge you to visit each attraction and enjoy the city’s offering that makes it a world class city and an award winning tourist destination.”

Gumede urged visitors to take full advantage of the municipality’s scenic views, world-class recreational facilities and entertainment.

“However, remember to so in a responsible manner so that you can take back all the good memories you have created in our city.”

- Supplied.

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