The City of Cape Town has denied that a private security company which has been strong-arming beachgoers to leave Clifton Beach by 8 pm over the festive season has been operating with its permission. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - As protesters prepare to take over Clifton's 4th Beach in protest against a private security company's high-handed tactics against beachgoers, Executive Mayor Dan Plato has reiterated that the City of Cape Town would not allow private organisations to limit access to public spaces.

"Cape Town is an inclusive city and will always encourage everyone of all demographics to enjoy our public spaces," Plato said.

"It has become clear over recent days that a security organisation operating at Clifton beach had no authority to ask anyone to leave Clifton beach, that they asked people of all races to leave, and did not single out any race groups. It has also become clear that opportunistic political organisations have ignored this fact to drive a highly divisive and politicised racial agenda. Our beaches will always be open to everyone of all races, locals and visitors alike". 

Plato statement follows days of outrage over PPA security guards ordering visitors to Clifton Beach to leave because the beach was "closing" at 8 pm. The company claimed that it had been operating with the City's blessing. 

PPA is the same company which has in the recent past tangled with housing activists in Bo-Kaap.

On Monday night, ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs was among a group of around 20 people enjoying an annual picnic when they were confronted by the private security guards. This led to the Black People’s National Crisis Committee (BPNCC) organising a "protest picnic" at the beach from 4 pm on Friday.