The eThekwini municipality says it will formally charge negligent parents who leave their kids unattended on the beach. File pictureK supplied

Durban - Parents and guardians would be formally charged if found guilty of leaving their children unattended on Durban’s beaches, the eThekwini municipality said on Wednesday.

Those who were found guilty would be charged under the Children’s Act.

eThekwini spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said there was a safe place where lost children could wait to be found, but they could not be looked after overnight.

Christo Swart, the chairman of the municipality’s festive season management committee, said beach buddies and childminders had all been briefed that it was illegal to leave children in the holding room overnight.

“This is to curb the high number of children who are left stranded for days. Parents should be responsible for their children,” said Swart.

He urged parents to tag their children to ensure they were quickly reunited with their families if they got lost.

Other beach rules included: No swimming after dark; no swimming under the influence of alcohol and only young children (under 10) allowed in the paddling pools.

l Operational hours for lifeguards are from 6am to 5pm with the exception of the central beaches which close at 6.30pm.

The restricted times are in place because visibility is limited for lifeguards after dark. - The Mercury