All quiet on the Cape beachfront over holiday season due to ban
By Shakirah Thebus 13m ago
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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town said there had been no major beach-related public incidence such as fatalities or severe injuries, a month into the implementation of the beach ban, during the busiest holiday season.
Mayco member for Community Service and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said the only serious incident reported since the start of the beach closures was one death on January 10 in Sea Point.
“At this stage the only serious incident reported was that of the unidentified adult female, found deceased in the ocean at Sea Point. The cause of death is still unconfirmed.”
Despite the lack of activity at beaches, lifeguards are still on duty with a skeleton crew of no more than six per beach.
“Although no swimming on beaches is currently allowed, these lifeguards are patrolling with the specific objective of interacting with people who might be transgressing the national Covid-19 regulations,” said Badroodien.
“Lifeguards are working closely with the City’s law enforcement officers to ensure that everyone adheres to the Alert Level 3 regulations.”
Volunteer organisation, Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) spokesperson Johann Marais said WSAR is sometimes called upon to assist the National Sea Rescue Institute with water-related rescues and searches.
On whether or not WSAR supported calls for the safe reopening of beaches, Marais said: “It is not where we operate, but it is not for us to enter into discussions or voice any opinion on the correctness or not of the beach ban. The same would apply to the sale of liquor.”
Premier Alan Winde has been calling for the reopening of beaches and the general easing of lockdown restrictions in the Western Cape, in an attempt to strike a balance between ‘saving lives and livelihoods’, as beach closures had a weighty impact on businesses and the tourism industry.
On Tuesday, Winde wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa calling for him to urgently convene a President’s Co-ordinating Council meeting to review the restrictions, as the province passes the peak of the second Covid-19 wave.
“We need to look at opening our public spaces, opening our beaches, we’ve already shown the science behind open versus closed … It is also in support of finding that balance on the coastal economy which is being devastated by the ongoing regulations,” he said during the weekly digicon on Wednesday.