With more than 2 million visitors to Cape Town’s beaches expected over summer, the City is doing all it can to ensure everyone’s safety. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town has increased the number of lifeguards on its beaches this festive season to keep beach-goers safe.
Each year, more than 2 million people flock to the City’s beaches during the peak summer season. With the festive season now in full swing, the City would like to caution the public to stay safe this summer at the City’s amenities.
As at Wednesday 13 December 2017, two drownings have been recorded at Mnandi Beach on the False Bay coast – both victims were young girls.
Ordinarily, the City has more than 270 trained and accredited temporary lifeguards and over 1 500 volunteer lifeguards on duty, as well as the voluntary services of the various lifesaving clubs affiliated to Lifesaving Western Province. This year, the Recreation and Parks Department has a pool of 100 additional lifeguards for deployment as needed.
‘We made this arrangement to compensate for the closure of many municipal swimming pools that will more than likely see an increase in visitor numbers to our beaches and tidal pools. We also thank Lifesaving Western Province for their continued support in helping us build a safer city which is a critical priority in our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.‘However, much of our success will depend on the cooperation of the public. We still have far too many people who swim outside of the designated bathing areas and who disregard the instructions of lifeguards. Alcohol is the other major factor that bedevils our efforts to ensure public safety,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
Lifeguards will be deployed between 10:00 and 18:00 daily to 22 beaches until 31 January 2018. Thereafter, they will be deployed to beaches only on weekends and public holidays until 31 March 2018. The following beaches will have lifeguards on duty: Big Bay, Bikini, Blue Waters, Camps Bay, Clifton, Danger, Fish Hoek, Gordon’s Bay, Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Kogel Bay, Llandudno Beach, Macassar Beach, Melkbosstrand, Milnerton, Mnandi, Monwabisi, Muizenberg, Silwerstroom, Strand, Strandfontein Beach, and Sunrise.
A full list of water safety tips is available here: http://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/visitor-safety/general-safety-awareness/water-safety-at-pools-and-beaches
Beach-goers are reminded that alcohol is not permitted at any of Cape Town’s beaches or swimming pools. More than two-thirds of injuries and drownings involve people who are under the influence of alcohol. Any alcohol found on beaches will be confiscated by law enforcement. Since 1 December, some 3 700 litres of alcohol has been confiscated from beaches and other public spaces.
‘We expect the amount of confiscated alcohol to increase significantly in the weeks ahead. It’s more than a little frustrating, because it does feel as though we say the same things over and over and yet history repeats itself every year. I implore the public to please use common sense when they are out and about on the roads and at recreational facilities. Alcohol impairs one’s judgment and leads to reckless and irresponsible behaviour that endangers the affected person as well as others who are wanting to enjoy our beaches. Surely a few hours of good clean fun can be had without it.
‘I am hoping that we can have a festive season without the tragedy of drownings,’ added Alderman Smith.