eThekwini Municipality plans on pulling out all stops to ensure the safety of thousands of holidaymakers who are expected to descend on its beaches and other entertainment establishments for the December holidays.
The City’s spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, said safety and security continues to be a priority. He said the City’s law enforcement officials and lifeguards have undergone intensive training to ensure that they are ready for any eventuality.
Around 65 beach guides will be stationed across various beaches. An additional 120 lifeguards have also been deployed.
Mayisela said over 2 000 Metro Police officers will be out in full force to guard against anything that may threaten the rule of law.
“They will be supported by members of the SAPS. The City has also procured the services of private security personnel to beef up security. Beach law enforcement officers will conduct regular patrols at all beaches.”
The City has also made available 200 000 wristbands to be worn by all children visiting beaches to make it easy to identify them and to re-unite them with family should they get separated. In the event that children are separated from their guardians, 38 child-minders are on standby to look after them until they are reunited with family members.
eThekwini said the Covid-19 hard lockdown impacted the City’s plans to repair some swimming pools. Despite this, 35 pools are opened for the public this festive season. They will be operational from 6am to 5pm. Repairs to other pools are underway.
Beachfront operating hours
Alcohol is strictly prohibited at the beachfront. Any liquor found will be confiscated. Beach law enforcement teams will start their shifts from 6am to 6.30pm. Toilets and ablution facilities will be open from 6am to 8pm on Monday to Thursday. During the weekend and on public holidays, services will be available from 6am to 10pm. A 24-hour service will be provided at Point, Addington, South, CAC, New Beach, Country Club, Thekwini and Bay of Plenty beaches. Bathing at all bathing beaches will be allowed from 6am to 6.30pm daily.
The City has also procured portable toilets to be placed in strategic areas to augment the capacity of the existing infrastructure.
Fishing north of the Umngeni River is still prohibited following the UPL chemical spillage that happened during the July unrest.
In anticipation of the huge amount of solid waste that is going to be generated during this period, the Durban Solid Waste (DSW) Unit has appointed 135 additional staff. DSW staff will work 16 hours a day to keep up with the demand for cleaning services. The municipality appeals to the public to keep the City clean by disposing of litter in garbage bins provided across the City.
Given the high volume of traffic associated with this period at the beach front, access to certain roads will be controlled via boom gates. Road safety campaigns are afoot to ensure that unroadworthy vehicles, drunken driving and any other irresponsible conduct on the road are dealt with. To ease traffic congestion, a park and ride facility will be available at no cost to the public at the old drive-in site. The City appeals to the public to always obey instructions from officers to ensure a safe and secure festive period.
With Covid-19 numbers increasing country-wide residents and visitors are urged to be vigilant and to observe all Covid-safety protocols strictly. Vaccination sites will continue operating during the holiday period and the public is urged to vaccinate. Hands must be washed or sanitised regularly, and an adequate social distance must be maintained at all times. The wearing of masks remains mandatory.