Some Hout Bay dog lovers oblivious to signage banning their pets from the beach. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Cape Town - The City has emphasised that dogs are banned from all its beaches because of safety concerns and health hazards.

This as residents in Hout Bay are complaining that dog owners are still taking their pets for a walk on the beach, sometimes in clear view of signage indicating they are banned.

An 82-year-old resident, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation, said she was knocked down by a dog at Hout Bay beach two years ago, and still suffers from an injured ankle. She said she did not understand why people came to the public area with dogs. “I’ve tried to approach a number of people with dogs at the beach. They gave me unpleasant responses.”

Another Hout Bay resident Sharon Plett said it was difficult for people to walk on their own at the beaches, in particular Hout Bay beach, because of the dogs.

Plett said people walked around with unleashed dogs and some were not picking up after their pets. She added that the signs erected by the City of Cape Town were out of date; some did not show clearly whether people could come with dogs or not.

A number of pet owners were walking their dogs on the beach. One couple were walking their dogs off their leashes.

Another dog owner, who did not want to be named, said: “Oh! I didn’t know dogs weren’t allowed here. How come I missed it when I used the entrance?” one asked.

Devan Roest, who was walking his dog on a leash, said he walked it at the beach almost everyday. “I put my dog on the leash to protect it from aggressive dogs and stop it running around,” Roest said.

Mayoral committee member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said dogs were not allowed at beaches and signs had been put up by Recreation and Parks Department to inform the public. However, some might go missing due to vandalism or environmental wear and tear.

Badroodien said some signs needed to be replaced once the department was made aware of this. He said dogs and all domestic animals were prohibited at beaches because of hygiene, safety hazard, nuisance and environmental risks.

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Cape Argus