A vendor is hidden beneath a mountain of merchandise while looking to cash in on the summer festive trade. Picture Zanele Zulu

More than 150 000 people visited the city this past week, with the festive season now in full swing.

eThekwini municipality said in a statement on Thursday that more than 154 000 people visited the various beaches and all efforts were made to keep adults and children safe.

City spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said with the long weekend preceding Christmas Day and Day of Goodwill approaching, a huge influx was expected to the beach areas.

Statistics regarding safety issues:

* Eighty-four children were separated from guardians or parents while visiting the beaches. All children were reunited with their families on the same day.
* Beach Buddies and Child Minders have already issued 16 369 wristbands which contain details of parents and guardians.
*Swimming pools recorded more than 32 000 bathers
* Twenty-eight rescues were carried out and 144 people received first aid treatment, mostly for blue bottle stings and minor cuts.

Beach and city maintenance was on track and about 131 670 tons of litter were collected and disposed of at designated depots, the city said. The Durban Solid Waste clean-up team was working in three shifts with a staff of about 280 people.

The city’s Acting Chairperson of the Festive Season Management Committee, Malcolm Canham, urged parents and guardians to ensure their children were kept within sight and safe at all times.

He urged all beachgoers to listen to instructions given by lifeguards.

Canham also urged patrons to make use of the park and ride system from the Centrum, Old Natal Command and Drive Inn Sites to the beach. The shuttle will leave from the sites every 30 minutes daily. – Mercury Reporter