Some reprieve from hot weather conditions is expected around the Cape this weekend after sweltering heat drove hundreds to City beaches.
According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), temperatures in the mid to lower 20s are expected with a forecast of 23 degrees for on Friday, 24 degrees for Saturday, and 21 degrees Sunday.
This as beachgoers at Clovelly and Muizenberg were evacuated from the sea after shark sightings in the area on Thursday.
Shark Spotters confirmed on their social media platforms that seven bronze whaler sharks were spotted at Clovelly beach just after 3pm while another shark sighting was confirmed at Muizenberg beach just after 2pm.
Water users were evacuated for precaution. Earlier in the day, the shark exclusion barrier had been deployed at Fish Hoek.
Shark Spotters spokesperson, Alison Kock, said: “(On Thursday) at Clifton Beach, a small whale shark, reportedly around 3 metres, was spotted in shallow waters. The NSRI and Shark Spotters cooperated to guide the shark into deeper waters until it vanished, staying on standby. Whale sharks, typically found in warm tropical waters, are filter feeders. Such occurrences in the Cape are unusual, happening a few times a year. Interestingly, the first scientific documentation of a whale shark dates back to 1828 when one was harpooned in Table Bay, Cape Town.
Remarkably, these creatures are the largest fish in the ocean reaching up to 18 metres long. They are harmless and feed on plankton and small fish.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Development (DSD) has urged parents to keep their eyes on their children to prevent them from being separated from their families on beach days.
Between December 15 and January 1, eight children were reported as separated from their families in different areas in the Cape Metro and reunited by DSD staff.
DSD MEC, Sharna Fernandez, said: “In these final days of the school holiday, I urge parents and caregivers not to drop the ball when they are out in a public place with their children.
“The beaches are still packed, therefore constant vigilance is required.
Please adhere to the law and refrain from drinking in these spaces, especially where young children are present and require attention. If you are returning to work, please ensure your child is in the care of a trusted individual who will keep a watchful eye over them.”
Helpful contact numbers:
Stop Gender-Based Violence helpline: 0800 150 150
SAPS: 08600 10111