Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has warned that the consumption of alcohol on its beaches and public areas will not be tolerated.
The warning comes ahead of the first big festive season weekend.
The city said Metro police, law enforcement and traffic services departments will be deployed across the metropole, supported by agencies such as the National Sea Rescue Institute, City and Lifesaving Western Province lifeguards, Disaster Risk Management, Recreation and Parks, to ensure that this weekend and the remainder of the festive season was safe for all.
JP Smith, the city’s mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, said on Friday that anyone found in possession of alcohol will be fined, and that the alcohol will be confiscated.
About 4 000l confiscated
He said there have already been numerous reports of and complaints about anti-social behaviour at Muizenberg and St James beaches.
Additional staff will be deployed to hotspot areas to mitigate the risk, he said.
A total of 4 314 bottles of alcohol (just over 3 700l) has been confiscated since December 1, Smith said.
“We expect the alcohol confiscation numbers to spike in the days ahead as some people simply do not get the message. Earlier this week, someone paid just over R1 000 in fines and impoundment fees to have 82 beers, ciders and a bottle of spirits returned.
“This person was obviously testing the system, but I can assure the public that alcohol that is confiscated goes directly to our storage facility and there is a tagging system in place to keep track of everything. No-one goes home with confiscated alcohol. It really just is about public safety and nothing more,” he said.
Smith also reminded beachgoers only to swim in areas where lifeguards are present and to follow their instructions.
There have been two drowning incidents at Mnandi Beach since December 1, where two victims, aged 12 and 15, lost their lives, according to Smith.
Smith said the Identikidz programme was also run at various priority beaches around the city’s coastline. He urged parents to have their children tagged as soon as they arrive at the beach.
“Thus far, some of the concerning trends have included children arriving at the beach without adult supervision, parents switching off cellphones which means we can’t reach them in the event that their child disappears and adults drinking and being unaware of their children’s whereabouts.
“We need everyone’s co-operation and support to make the Identikidz project a success, it can’t be left to the authorities alone. People need to take accountability for their actions,” Smith said.
Roadworthy checks have been conducted on 1 114 vehicles thus far, ahead of their departure on long-distance trips at various public transport interchanges in Cape Town.
“Of these, 81% were cleared for travel. Buses accounted for just over half of all vehicles checked. The vehicle checkpoints, set up as part of Operation Exodus, have yielded 28 863 transgressions – the majority for speeding, but also 3 190 unlicensed drivers.”