Thousands of revellers descended on Durban’s beaches on Monday with some partying all night and leaving in their wake a pile of rubbish and unhappy residents at properties neighbouring the beachfront.
Hester Wallace, a resident at Winderemere, opposite Durban’s North Beach, said residents and guests could not sleep on Monday night because of revellers on the beachfront.
Hundreds of what she calls “unpaying guests” sat on the lawns from Monday, throughout the night, making a huge noise and mess. There were also no ablution facilities for the masses, she said.
She did not contact the police as she said police cars were patrolling the area but they did nothing to stop the noise or disperse the people.
None of a number of her guests staying in flats, many for the national chess championships taking place at Durban’s International Convention Centre this week, could sleep.
“We expect crowds in the day but not throughout the night. They were shouting, screaming and whistling. There’s a huge mess on the beachfront now.
“I have a number of up-country guests staying here. It’s really not good for Durban.”
By 8am on Tuesday morning, thousands of teenagers could be seen at the South and North beaches. Many of the revellers who spoke to the Daily News admitted that they had partied all night. Some of them had come from as far as Impendle in the Midlands.
Two girls who only identified themselves as Gugu and Nosihle told the Daily News that they had come from Pietermaritzburg with a group of friends but had been stranded after being separated from the group.
“We do not have any money to go back home now. We will just try to phone the others hoping they are still around,” one said.
Sbahle Mhlongo, 19, from Impendle, said she was there with a group of friends. She had also arrived the night before and slept on the lawns at North Beach. “The party” was spoiled by Metro police who confiscated their liquor, she said.
She and a group of friends usually visited Durban on Reconciliation Day. They either spend the night in a hired taxi or dancing on the beach.
Liquor bottles lay strewn on the lawns at north beach on Tuesday morning. Durban Solid Waste staffers were out in full force from early on Tuesday morning to pick up bottles and other rubbish strewn on the beach.
A car guard who refused to be identified, said he had witnessed a number of people being arrested on Monday.
“I haven’t heard of any major crimes being committed. I witnessed mainly these youngsters fighting but nothing out of the extraordinary.
“It’s like this every year but the worst is yet to come on New Year’s Day.”
Several mobile toilets have been put up on the beachfront to accommodate the many visitors.
Senior superintendent Eugene Msomi said no formal noise complaints had been laid.
“There were enough police members on the beachfront and we did not receive any complaints.”
Msomi said drinking was not allowed on the beachfront. People were allowed to stay on the beach throughout the night, as long as they did not sleep there.