From the news desk

City ready for busy festive season

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The City of Cape Town has launched its festive season operational plan to ensure all residents and visitors have are safe during this busy period. At a media briefing at the Traffic Management Centre in Goodwood on Wednesday, Mayor Patricia De Lille along with three city officials said authorities had a comprehensive plan, from road traffic operations, beach operations and other integral factors to consider during the festive season.

“Our focus areas over this period include road traffic accidents, fires, beach safety and cleanliness, public transport safety, drinking and driving as well as enforcing the ban on alcohol on beaches, busy policing and combating drug and alcohol related crimes along with the possession of illegal firearms,” De Lille said during the briefing.

Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith said the City had already been at the forefront with its clamp down on drunk drivers in the province.

“This is the busiest time for law enforcement officials. While the rest of the province begins their festivities and enjoying the summer time, we are working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of holiday makers,” Smith explained.

During the last festive season, Smith said the City’s law enforcement managed to arrest 8000 drunk drivers.

The case of increased mall robberies has been addressed through the implementation of CCTV cameras located in various areas around major malls in Cape Town. Smith also said that city law enforcement does not have a budget and is limited on resources in accommodating all the malls.

However, the V&A Waterfront has offered to fund extra officials to ensure visitors and employees are safe. Canal Walk along with the Waterfront have extended their trading hours to accommodate shoppers during this time and the MyCiti bus service will also be extending their service hours to provide transport to late shoppers.

Meanwhile, restricted access to beach roads on the coast will be enforced on the days when residents and visitors are more likely to visit the beach. This is to address the continuous congestion experienced on beach roads during this time.

Mayco member for Transport in Cape Town, Alderman Brett Harron added that the restriction will only be enforced on private vehicles.

“The private vehicles will be allowed access to these roads on an hourly basis while public transport such as the MyCiti Bus services, Golden Arrow and taxis will still be afforded access to the restricted area. We urge those who want to be in the city centre over the holiday period to park their cars in the Foreshore and utilise the services of public transport,” Herron added.

For many holiday makers, the festive season ushers in the time for lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun and swimming at a choice of beaches and public pools in and around Cape Town. Mayco Member for Community Services and Special Projects, Alderman Belinda Walker explained that about 218 lifeguards will be spread across the 36 public swimming pools and beaches in the city. Special programmes at local libraries will also be made available to keep children entertained and busy over the school holiday.

“I want to urge the public to not drink and swim, it is as bad as drinking and driving. Ones judgement is impaired. Be aware of your surroundings and children at all times. Swim where it is indicated that it is safe. To prevent getting caught in rip current, thirty shark spotters will also be on high alert throughout the holiday period,” Walker said.VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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