Our litter worse than dog poo

2015-05-05 07:18

The proposal to reduce the number of beaches where owners can walk their dogs is a disturbing sign of how authorities wish to control public spaces without considering the rights of local residents.

Sanparks has already banned dogs and instituted hefty entrance levies on Boulders Beach, Foxy Beach (the penguin sanctuary) and Cape Point that have proved to be prohibitively expensive for locals.

If Glencairn, Long Beach, Seaforth, Watersedge, Windmill beaches and Millers Point are added to the list of “no go” zones, this would effectively remove the last of the sandy shores on the warmer side of the False Bay peninsula for thousands of dog walkers, let alone their dogs!

These beaches provide common space for locals to meet and get away from the tides of tourists who increasingly clutter and “litter” this coastline.

It is quite simply not right to regulate common meeting grounds of the False Bay community who frequent the beaches, not just to walk their pooches but also to unwind and socialise in these lovely natural public spaces.

Half the fun of going to a beach is to watch dogs, unleashed in an open space, interacting with one another and bounding along the shoreline!

Why should residents have to purchase annual activity cards at a cost of R240 per person or R460 to ride a horse on the very same beaches if they can’t freely access them or are confined to unsociable hours and demarcated spaces?

I trust this initiative is not intended to protect people who do not own dogs, like me! If that were the case, then why would the relevant authorities have already withdrawn services like seaweed and litter bin collection on nearly all the beaches facing the “chop”. Human litter is far more offensive than dog poo!

If dog poo is the issue, then the authorities should use some of the considerable revenue being generated from the card levies to provide doggy bags and bins – this would also send a clear message to dog owners!

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