Independent Online

Friday, August 12, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Fine weather adds to festive cheer but Western Cape government warns people to celebrate responsibly

The South African Weather Service’s latest weather forecast showed Cape Town should prepare for more hot and humid days leading up to Christmas. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

The South African Weather Service’s latest weather forecast showed Cape Town should prepare for more hot and humid days leading up to Christmas. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 24, 2021

Share

Cape Town - With the weather forecast for the Western Cape promising to remain fine over the Christmas weekend, many people will be tempted to stage a temporary escape to the outdoors in a bid to add to the Christmas cheer.

The South African Weather Service’s latest weather forecast showed Cape Town should prepare for more hot and humid days leading up to Christmas, with low clouds and some rain after Boxing Day.

Story continues below Advertisement

This escape from the cares of an otherwise gloomy year comes just as some of the Western Cape’s most sought-after tourist destinations, such as Table Mountain, the Cape Winelands, the Karoo and the Overberg have been declared “Covid-19-safe” and accessible to travellers.

Wesgro chief executive Wrenelle Stander has assured visitors that their safety in this Covid-19 era is of utmost importance to both the Province and its tourism industry, which is busy with a push for domestic tourism.

Zintle Mtsi, Wesgro’s experience and product specialist, said some of the Province’s tourism products got a facelift during lockdown, allowing travellers to take in the Fairest Cape in unique ways.

But even as citizens seek out good cheer this festive season, the Province is urging them to behave responsibly and not to end up in situations that could burden hospitals and emergency centres.

The Western Cape Health Department has said that with limited alert level 1 restrictions currently in place, they expect to see a significantly increased burden of alcohol-related trauma injury presenting to health facilities, particularly over the festive period.

Provincial head of public health Dr Keith Cloete said that already over the last 11 weeks they have seen a total of 29 775 trauma cases at 20 emergency centres with about 2 456 additional cases over the last week alone.

Story continues below Advertisement

Dr Cloete said that of the cases of trauma presented at emergency centres from October 1 to December 19, about 14 300 were as a result of interpersonal violence while 11 400 cases were from accidents, including road traffic incidents.

“If we track these down per week we can see that road traffic accidents are on the increase and that’s what our officers are currently looking at in terms of mitigating what comes into our emergency centres.

“Obviously we’re expecting that with the upcoming weekend and holidays that trauma cases from interpersonal violence and road traffic accidents will increase.

Story continues below Advertisement

“We will be monitoring this, but it puts additional pressure on the general wards and ICU capacity.”

Premier Alan Winde said: “We need to make sure we are adhering to the rules of the road, bearing in mind you don’t want to become a case in one of our trauma units.

“This festive season let’s stay safe and arrive alive. Do not speed, take regular breaks when driving long distances and rest when needed. Do not drink and drive and if you are gathering, go outside and avoid crowds.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Meanwhile, the City has activated its annual festive season preparedness plan and its public emergency communication centre with 68 call takers and is ready for the uptick in emergency calls over the festive season.

The City has activated its annual festive season preparedness plan and its public emergency communication centre, with 68 call takers, is ready for the uptick in emergency calls over the festive season. Picture: Supplied

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith reminded residents heading to the beaches and other public spaces that the consumption of alcohol there was prohibited, and not only will they be fined, but their alcohol will be confiscated too.

Contributing to the “have fun responsibly” message, the SA Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) said it had stepped up its support for several harm reduction measures and road safety initiatives during the festive season. This season the primary focus will be on drinking and driving/walking.

Salba chairperson Pamela Nkuna said that this season the primary focus will be on drinking and driving/walking.

“The industry’s consistent and ongoing message has always been to promote the responsible use of alcohol.”

[email protected]

Share