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Cape Town - Ball sports on Clifton’s fourth beach have been banned after numerous complaints that volleyball matches, especially, were taking up substantial space on the beach.
Subcouncil 16, which includes Camps Bay, has agreed to erect clear signs on Clifton Fourth prohibiting all ball-playing sports.
Ward councillor Beverley Schafer said there had been “ongoing problems” of formalised volleyball and other games being played on the beach, during and outside its blue flag status, with big corporate competitions monopolising much of the space.
Also, the city was getting more requests for sporting events to be hosted on Camps Bay beach.
Schafer said the city would demarcate a formal ball playing area on Camps Bay, below the pump house, for volleyball and touch rugby.
All future event applications for sport and recreation competitions would be directed to this area.
The move to provide clearer signs about restricted activities at Clifton has been welcomed by the Clifton Bungalows’ Association.
Association spokeswoman Emma Fonzari said there had also been some restrictions on water and beach activities, but that these by-laws were not always enforced by the city’s law enforcement officials, who tended to use their discretion.
“An informal touch rugby game by a family on a quiet day has less impact than two five-a-side teams rampaging over toddlers and churning sand in the face of other beach users.”
She said complaints to the association had been mounting about the organised beach volleyball courts.
“At times, this organised activity extended to three beach volleyball courts, uniformed teams and referees with whistles.”
Touch rugby has also fallen foul of some beachgoers. Fonzari said when confronted by law enforcement, many of the offending ball players used the lack of signs as an excuse to carry on playing.
“The principle that the beach is for the use of all is key. Activities which set aside portions of the beach for any closed group are discouraged by policy.”
Meanwhile, buskers may soon be housed at Camps Bay’s pump house, as part of the City of Cape Town’s broader plan to upgrade the beach.
Schafer said the pump house was the most under-used space in Camps Bay so would be an ideal location for buskers to perform in a safe and controlled space. There would also be a lookout area for spectators of sports events.
Although these plans were still “in the beginning stages”, Schafer said she was in discussions with the city’s department of water about ways to use the area more effectively.
This was an ideal opportunity to combine the creation of a formalised playing area with an upgrade of the beach, she said.