Durban - More than 68 000 litres of alcohol have been confiscated by police and 1100 traffic fines issued since the start of the festive season.
SAPS spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said this was a result of regular patrols and clamping down on illegal taverns.
“We are patrolling all areas. Illegal shebeens are being closed and licensed taverns are being monitored. We are ensuring they abide by the terms of their licences,” said Naicker.
“With regard to drinking in public, KwaZulu-Natal is not bad. The community is aware of the consequences of drinking in public.”
Durban’s metro police believe they will be able to keep a lid on drinking in public places as the city gears up for a busy week ahead.
The busiest days are expected to be December 26 and New Year’s Day.
Metro police spokesman Superintendent Eugene Msomi said it was difficult to monitor the movement of alcohol on to the beaches on these days. Liquor stores near the beach exacerbated the situation, he said.
But Durban is trying to be proactive rather than reactive.
Cape Town police seized more than 600 litres of alcohol on its beaches this month.
“We have a different way of working; we stop liquor being brought into the beach areas first, turning away vehicles carrying liquor,” Msomi said.
The police have arrested 12 people for drinking in public in Durban this month.
People found drinking in public could be fined or face up to five years imprisonment (or both).
“We have also increased our metro police presence. The (beachfront) access roads will be closed and only residents and businesses will have vehicular access.
“Provision has been made to park buses and taxis at the (old) drive-in site,” Msomi said.
Police satellite stations have been set up at the old drive-in site, on Snell Parade at Sunkist beach, and at Blue Lagoon, to supplement the permanent satellites at China Mall, Dr Pixley KaSeme (West) Street, OR Tambo (Marine) Parade and Snell Parade near Somtseu Road.