Dog walking on a leash

2018-12-04 06:01

The public will have the chance to comment on dog walking restrictions at Clifton 1st Beach, following an amendment to the animal use zone at the beach proposed at a recent subcouncil meeting.

The Good Hope Subcouncil recently heard a report on an amendment to only allow dogs on the beach before 09:00 and after 18:00 during summer months (November to March). They would also have to be on a leash at all times, according to the report.

In the report, the City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department states that rapid growth in the city’s population has led to the increased use of beaches, by both beachgoers and pet owners. With this comes an increase risk of conflict between beachgoers and dogs in a shared space.

It was also added that Clifton 1st Beach is a “relatively confined pocket” and that beach users have “as much a right to a dog-free environment as others have to a dog-friendly environment”.

The amendments were made in line with recent changes at Milton Beach in Sea Point, which saw it designated as a dog-friendly beach. The item appeared before the Good Hope Subcouncil, which is delegated to change the animal use zone of local beaches, with the restriction that no dogs will be allowed from 1 November to 31 March between the hours of 09:00 and 18:00.

“After a presentation for amendments on Milton Beach at Sea Point, a resolution was reached by Subcouncil to amend the animal use zone at Clifton 1st Beach. The proposed amendment to Clifton 1st is a result of the substantial increase in beach use by people and the growing concerns surrounding conflict between beach users and dog walkers. Unfortunately, there is also a history of such incidents on this beach,” the report states.

Subcouncil chairperson Matthew Kempthorne says the subcouncil decided to start a public participation process into what the users of the beach want, taking into account all who use the Clifton beaches.

“We need consistency at our beaches and the public need to know which beaches are dog friendly and which are not. We also need to make sure the signage is correct and users behave correctly,” he says.

The decision on the proposed amendment will only be made once a thorough public participation process has been completed. This is expected to start in the new year.

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