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It’s all systems go for the annual festive lights switch-on event which officially kicks off the summer season in Cape Town. Safety is a top priority once again this year and residents are asked to take note of and abide by the security measures that have been put in place. Read more below:

The festive lights switch-on event is a long-standing tradition in the metro and this year marks the 49th edition of this institution in Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town has pulled out all the stops to ensure that families can come out in their numbers to have fun in a safe environment. The event starts with a free concert from 16:00 on Sunday 2 December 2018 on the Grand Parade, and features a line-up of top local artists.

‘Residents and visitors are advised that all weapons, alcohol, drugs and other illegal substances must be left at home. Security measures have been beefed up to create a secure environment in which young and old can enjoy themselves. There will be a substantial increase in the number of law enforcement staff in attendance who will work to keep everyone safe, monitor anti-social behaviour, and manage access control,’ said the City’s Executive Director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman.

Over the years, the festive lights switch-on has always been punted as a family-focused event. However, there has been an increase in the number of young people attending who are unaccompanied by parents or guardians and who choose to loiter in the CBD after the event and engage in anti-social behaviour.

Private alcohol sales and alcohol abuse among the youth have been on the increase over the years, which has been linked to crime within the event footprint.

‘We will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour or under-age drinking. Special attention is being paid to security measures within the event footprint, especially in respect of access control. The event area will be fenced off and entry will be through chutes at secured access points. In addition, patrons will be searched and prohibited items will be confiscated. No alcohol and other substances, or glass bottles will be allowed,’ said Bosman.

The Kid Smart Project is also on board this year to provide a more sophisticated monitoring system to help reunite any lost children with their families.

‘The City would like to issue a very stern warning to anyone who intends to disrupt this fun family outing to think twice. Any disruptive behaviour and intended criminal activities will not be tolerated. The event is for everyone, and everyone needs to be given the chance to enjoy it safely. Families are encouraged to come out in their numbers, armed with their picnic baskets and chairs, which were always a familiar sight at this event,’ said Bosman.

The line-up of entertainers is set to wow Capetonians and visitors. The traditional switch-on of the festive lights will ignite Adderley Street at 20:30, followed by a spectacular 3D video mapping experience on the City Hall facade.

The festive lights switch-on is always a highlight on the city’s annual events calendar that attracts local residents and visitors who are met with a warm and true Capetonian reception – something the city has become known for around the world.

The full list of road closures is available here: http://bit.do/festivelights-eng

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