Law enforcement officers Samuel Festus and Cameron Isaacs with confiscated alcohol at the Ndabeni impound facility in Maitland where the items are stored for three months before being destroyed. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA

Cape Town - Beachgoers who had their alcohol confiscated by the authorities over the festive season can reclaim their booze.

But it comes at a hefty cost.

The city says those who want to reclaim their alcohol will have to pay a R500 fine before being issued with a notice to appear in court for breaking a by-law.

At the Ndabeni impoundment centre a further release fee of R1 400 must be paid.

The alcohol must be claimed within three months.

Thereafter, the leftover tipple will be dumped at the Vissershok municipal landfill.

Read: More than 900 bottles of booze confiscated on Cape beaches

12 407 bottles of booze seized at Cape beaches

The confiscated alcohol which is not collected will be decanted into containers, each of which has a 1 000 litre capacity, then transported to the landfill site by an external service provider for final disposal.

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said the impoundment centre was full, as many people simply left their confiscated alcohol there.

“Not surprisingly, we don’t receive many requests to reclaim alcohol, which is why the impoundment centre is bursting at the seams.

“We’ve investigated the option of selling the alcohol and investing the money into our social services programmes but the red tape is prohibitive, in addition to ethical and logistical considerations.

“So, the next best thing is to destroy the alcohol,” said Smith.

Over the festive period, law enforcement confiscated 5 014 litres of beer, 3 863 litres of cider, 709 litres of spirits, 688 litres of wine, making a combined total of 10 094 litres of booze.

Christmas Day, the Day of Goodwill and New Year’s Day yielded the bulk of the confiscated alcohol.

Smith said during the 2016/17 festive season, alcohol confiscations had exceeded 16 000 bottles.

The City’s 107 Public Emergency Communications Centre logged 23 511 incidents during December.

Of the calls made to this emergency number, 15 564 were for medical assistance, 1 470 for fires and only eight for disaster management.

Meanwhile, traffic officials said they experienced an above average number of vehicles entering and leaving the province on the N1 from December 15.

Traffic spokesperson Farrel Payne said “irresponsible driver behaviour”, including speeding, distracted driving and general impatience contributed to several incidents.

Payne said the Worcester/ Du Doorn road had lost its reputation as the “stretch of death” as traffic management had successfully reduced the number of fatalities on this section.

“The introduction of tactically planned operations, using more reliable data and Average Speed Over Distance from Touws River until the borders of the Eastern and Northern Cape has drastically reduced the speed of motorists.

“Our dedicated traffic officers and operational partners who are stationed at Worcester, Touws River, Laingsburg and Beaufort West will continue to apply the necessary pressure on drivers who do not obey the rules of the road.”

Unroadworthy motor vehicles would also be pulled off to be inspected or confiscated.

Payne said the highest speeding offences were recorded on the N1 near Beaufort West, Laingsburg, Worcester and Touws River.

The highest clocked was 172km/* between Beaufort West and Leeugamka on December 4.

“We have gathered all statistics of fatalities including pedestrians in the province on a daily basis.

“However, the final statistics must be verified by the Forensic Pathology Services before they can be released.”

He said traffic authorities were ready for the holidaymakers who were returning home this weekend.

Weekend Argus