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Durban washed out; Cape Town blown away

Durban - The Durban police’s combined effort at maintaining order in the city over the new year was “highly successful” with 15 arrested for drunk driving in roadblocks on Monday night and 25 people fined forcontravening fireworks by-laws.

Metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said on Tuesday that the police still needed to be debriefed, but it looked as if most people had heeded police warnings and behaved.

The Durban beachfront was more quiet this year, possibly due to the rain. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The eThekwini Municipality’s Festive Season Management Committee chairman, Christo Swart, echoed Msomi’s sentiments.

“It seems our calls are being heard and people are starting to take better care of their children,” he said.

Swart said all the children who had been separated from their parents on Durban’s beaches over the past week had been reunited with them.

“The last two were reunited with their parents today (Tuesday),” he said, “and their parents were issued with warnings.”

Swart said that on New Year’s Eve Durban’s beaches had been busy.

“We had a crowd of about 50 000,” he said.

But the traditional beach crowds did not arrive on New Year’s Day, possibly because of the rain.

Last month, Speaker Logie Naidoo said the municipality had identified traffic control, lost children and the enforcement of by-laws as the “special focus areas” for the festive season. The city’s plan was aimed at ensuring everyone had a safe holiday.

Meanwhile in Cape Town, potential New Year’s Eve disasters were averted when the authorities cancelled two big events because of winds which were gusting up to 100km/h.

A giant marquee, designed to hold 8 000 people at the V&A Waterfront, was destroyed by the wind.

Sections of fencing erected along city roads for the Cape Malay Choirs and Bands parade were lifted and sent flying. No one was injured as officials had cancelled both events.

Greg Walsh, the managing director of G&G Productions, organisers of the event at the Waterfront, said on Tuesday: “It was the right decision because that tent was completely destroyed, like toothpicks.” - The Mercury

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