Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is concerned that alcohol confiscations are on the rise once again, as many people continue to disregard the by-laws prohibiting consumption in public spaces.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said that in the two weeks since December 16, the City’s enforcement staff have confiscated nearly 5500 bottles of alcohol.
This figure is slightly higher than the same point in the 2019/20 festive season, when 5 089 bottles were seized.
Smith said the rise in confiscations this year follows a dramatic dip last summer, when beaches were summarily closed in terms of lockdown restrictions. During the same period last year, only 1 510 bottles were confiscated.
“These statistics are most concerning, as it means that people simply are not heeding our calls to leave their alcohol at home, showing very little regard for the law, their personal well-being, and the safety of others around them.
“With the new year’s weekend still to come, I shudder to think what the totals would look like by next week,” said Smith.
He said drinking in public – and the antisocial behaviour that often comes with it – was nothing to be proud of and urged people to start calling out those who continue to engage in such behaviour.
At the same time, the province said that during the week of December 20 to 27, there were 39 people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said he was seriously concerned about the high number of drunk drivers arrested, and reminded drivers that being caught driving under the influence could result in a criminal record.
“Driving when you have been drinking is dangerous, regardless of how much or how little you drink.
“Alcohol affects your judgement and slows down your ability to respond in an emergency. You are likely to drive faster than you usually do, and less carefully.
“An error of judgement may mean killing or injuring someone on the road, in another vehicle, or in your own vehicle. The mistake you make in a moment could lead to a lifetime of regret,” said Mitchell.
He said that the provincial traffic services implemented a total of 190 integrated roadblocks, vehicle check point and speed control operations across the province during the week in question, and 34 685 vehicles were stopped and checked.
This resulted in 279 speeding offences being recorded and 5 873 fines issued – worth about R8.7 million – being issued for various traffic violations, ranging from driver to vehicle fitness.
Meanwhile, mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia Van der Ross has said that the City is expecting to have a busy time at its beaches and has urged the public to cooperate with the City’s staff to ensure safety for all, especially in swimming areas.