DURBAN’S Mayor Zandile Gumede inspects squads of metro police while on a walkabout with metro police deputy head Wiseman Mchunu to evaluate the safety of the beaches ahead of an expected influx of 1 million visitors. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - More than 700 security personnel will be deployed to Durban beaches this festive season as the city promises thousands of revellers a cleaner and safer coastline.

The personnel include 341 security guards and 430 metro police trainees.

The deployment is part of a joint effort by eThekwini Municipality, the provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the private sector.

Mayor Zandile Gumede said the city would be welcoming over 1 million visitors to the Golden Mile.

As part of the initiatives to ensure the safety of visitors, the city will deploy extra officers from the metro police and extra patrol vehicles to conduct joint operations with the SAPS.

Metro police have already started enforcement programmes aimed at curbing public drinking and other offences at the beachfront, with Gumede saying the city would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to criminal activities as well as littering.

“The deployment today of security and police personnel will ensure a memorable experience for the visitors... Metro police will not only deal with controlled access to our beaches, but will arrest anyone found to be flouting rules, violating by-laws and engaged in criminal activities,” Gumede said.

On ensuring cleaner beaches, the city will deploy roving litter pickers and place extra bins along the beach.

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry has thrown its weight behind the initiative, saying the partnership “is a unique opportunity for ideas, concerns and opinions of local business to be heard”.

“We commend the city on these discussions and look forward to the clear and measurable actions that will come out of this initiative. We believe that by the end of 2019 we will have attracted more international and business tourism to Durban,” said its chief executive, Palesa Phili.

The Mercury