Cape Town - Law enforcement will be out in full force this weekend as crowds are likely to flock to the beaches and revellers ring in the New Year. Festive celebrations are expected to draw huge crowds to central Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront, coastal towns and entertainment venues.
Western Cape traffic and safety officials warned drivers they would conduct extra roadblocks and random alcohol testing during this busy period.
Those who broke the law should expect harsh penalties. "The public comes out to party and the city is ready to ensure that, as far as possible, everyone has fun without the risk of crime or injury,” said the mayoral executive member for safety, JP Smith.
The City would work with the police to combat drunk driving and to ensure traffic management, he added.
Smith said various departments had joined forces to ensure the entry into 2018 ran smoothly, particularly in the hot spots around the beaches, the CBD, Long Street and the Waterfront.
More than 1 000 law enforcement and metro police officers will be on duty on New Year’s Eve, with some putting in 20- and even 24-hour shifts.
“We cannot sustain this kind of visibility but we are stretched to absolute capacity and many of our staff have volunteered for the overtime,” said Smith.
Some staff will clock in at 6am on New Year’s Day and will only go off-duty at 4am on January 2.
The busiest period is expected between today and New Year’s Day.
Smith said the water crisis had impacted on plans since only one-third of the city’s municipal pools were open.
“We’ve increased the number of lifeguards at the beaches in anticipation of an increase in the number of visitors.”
Smith said there would be several roadblocks, roaming vehicle checkpoints and increased visibility to keep residents and visitors safe.
“We have a dedicated roadblock unit which will be conducting one-and-a-half to two-hour roadblocks at various points across the city."
He warned that motorists found over the legal alcohol limit or in possession of illegal substances would be arrested.