From the news desk

City stresses beach safety ahead of holidays

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With families expected to flock to the beaches this coming weekend as the country celebrates The Day of Goodwill, the City of Cape Town has issued a call for the public to be mindful of where the swim and how they conduct themselves at the beach, in order to ensure their own safety.

Whilst officials are going the extra mile to ensure the safety of all beachgoers, they have stressed that lifeguards need be a “last line of defence”.

“Look carefully whether you are in a fit state to swim, whether you are in a safe place to swim, go where there are lifeguard and go between the flags. The lifeguards are very aware of where rip currents arise and will demarcate the safe areas for you to swim,” Mayco member for Community Services and Special Projects, Alderman Belinda Walker stressed.

The City has also signalled alcohol consumption on beaches as one of its major concerns, especially in cases where non-Muslim beachgoers swim while intoxicated. Alcohol consumption and possession on beaches has been completely outlawed due to safety concerns.

“If you see somebody who is intoxicated please bring it to the attention of law enforcement officers or the life guards, because those people are a danger to themselves,” Walker urged.

Adults have also been strongly advised to keep an eye on young children and to ensure that all unsupervised children are brought to the attention of beach monitors and life guards.

The City of Cape Town has also revealed that it is moving towards a system whereby it will seek to offer opportunities for live guards to become paid employees of the City. This is with the aim of opening up new career opportunities for locals.

“Many people would to volunteer but they can’t afford to; they need that money and their families cannot support them. So we are looking towards paid life service, and they will have the opportunity to do other things during the winter periods,” she explained. VOC

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