Durban beachgoers are urged to be cautious
Durban - THE eThekwini Municipality has urged beachgoers to ensure that they follow all Covid-19 regulations after bathing was opened to the public on Sunday following closures due to government regulations aimed at curving the spread of the virus.
Monday is the second day until they will be closed again to bathers on New Year’s Eve.
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the temperature was expected to peak at 32ºC tomorrow, which would spur residents to visit the beach.
“We are prepared for the next two days especially when it comes to law enforcement to ensure that regulations are complied with. We appeal to the public, including tourists to enjoy themselves responsibility; it’s paramount to adhere to the regulations of Covid,” he said.
Mayisela said from December 16 to 22, the city recorded more than 4 000 cases of non-compliance to safety precautions and by-laws on beaches.
From the same time period, he said 262 283 beachgoers and 779 089 promenade visitors were recorded on Durban beaches.
Mayisela said: “There are 42 beach rescue operations that have been executed since the start of the festive seasons and no drownings.
“Parents are encouraged to ensure that children are tagged with wristbands bearing contact details of parents. Wristbands have proven to be instrumental in uniting parents with children in the event of separation.
“Childminders and beach buddies are allocated in seven beaches stations, namely Addington, South, Wedge, North, Bay, Battery and Laguna,” he said.
Mayisela appealed to beachgoers to remember that no alcohol was permitted on beaches and in public areas.
“The public must wear masks all the time in public spaces, practise social distancing, wash hands regularly, obey the curfew.
“Bathing and surfing hours are between 6am and 6pm, with the exception of the days where beaches are going to be closed completely. The public is urged not to bathe at night nor at beaches that are not manned by lifeguards.”
He said there were 85 seasonal temporary workers who were working night shift to clean the city.
Beaches will again be closed to bathers on December 31 as well as January 1 to 3 as per President Cyril Ramaphosa’s instructions this holiday season in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Mayisela said that today 19 of the city’s 52 public swimming pools would be opened.
He said the remainder of the pools were undergoing repairs and maintenance.
“The public will be informed when it is safe to use the remaining pools once the repairs are completed.”
Thembinkosi Ngcobo, head of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit, said that after these pools were closed due to the nationwide lockdown, it was found that some were not conducive for use.
“Mandatory safety protocols have been put in place to minimise possible infections. Lifeguards will be on site to monitor and ensure there are no drownings. The public is urged to adhere to all regulations and by-laws to minimise incidents of drownings.”
The following pools will reopen under stringent restrictions: Verulam; Buffelsdale; Hambanathi; Ntuzuma E; Isipingo Hills; LT King; Tills Crescent; Alex Bulley; Bayview; Bellair; Lamontville; Kingspark Indoor; Kingspark ; Ansteys; Brighton; South Beach and Laguna.
Ngcobo said like the beaches, the pools would also be closed from New Year’s Eve until January 3.
He added that the opened pools would accept bathers from 9am until 6pm with staggered two-hourly swimming times starting from 9am.
Ngcobo said 30 minutes between each two-shour swimming time would be used to sanitise.