New Year's Eve: Police clamp down on fireworks, drunk driving as revellers ring in 2020

2019-12-31 11:13
New Years Eve celebrations at the V and A Waterfront, in Cape Town. File Photo.

New Years Eve celebrations at the V and A Waterfront, in Cape Town. File Photo. (Luigi Bennett/Die Burger)

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As many get ready to ring in the New Year, police will be on high alert preventing crime and disorder.

In Gauteng, police and other law enforcement agencies will be monitoring planned and unplanned New Year's Eve celebrations and executing operations in areas notorious for disorderly behaviour.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said on Tuesday that there were several ticketed events in the province and some were sold out.

Peters warned that police would also show no mercy to those caught driving while under the influence of alcohol.

In addition, police will also be patrolling the streets in Hillbrow, Johannesburg Central, Soweto, Pretoria Central and Mamelodi.

"While revellers in these places have been notorious for unruly behaviour in the past, this changed in the recent three festive seasons where minimum incidents were reported due to high police visibility."

Police kept a close eye on the buildings where bot
New Year's Eve celebrations in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. File Photo. Photo: Trevor Kunene/Daily Sun

Police have also clamped down on fireworks in the province in anticipation of the widely popular firework displays.

Selling fireworks to children

Police have confiscated fireworks worth tens of thousands of rand from stores.

In Eersterust on Monday, police seized fireworks from an unlicensed trader after the community complained that the shop sold the items to children as young as seven.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela will also be on the ground.

"We want everyone celebrating in Gauteng, whether outdoors or in the comfort of their homes, to have a good time," Mawela said.

"Every resident's safety and security is our top priority. Our members will be out and about to deter criminals and keep crowds safe, but we need you to look after yourself and those around you as well."

Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of Health urged New Year's Eve revellers to exercise caution.

In a statement, head of department Dr Sandile Tshabalala said "alcohol consumption is usually a major contributor to otherwise avoidable calamities, such as motor vehicle crashes or interpersonal conflicts, which may result in serious injury, loss of a limb or death."

"We're, therefore, saying that everybody needs to be careful around this time. Drinking and driving is a problem. In ushering [in] the new year, we urge people to take care of themselves. Avoid alcohol or don't overconsume it," Tshabalala said.

In Cape Town, mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien called on beach goers to exercise caution on New Year's Day.

"Historically, Boxing Day and New Year's Day are the two biggest beach days in Cape Town," Badroodien said in a statement.

"This year, mother nature stole the show on Boxing Day, so we expect many people to make up for the lost opportunity on New Year's Day – in spite of the windy conditions forecast."

Badroodien appealed to beach goers to only swim in designated areas, look out for rip currents, to not drink and swim and to supervise children at all times.

Read more on:    durban  |  pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  police  |  crime
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