Mayoral committee member for community safety and health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross said the project has grown to be trusted by thousands of parents and guardians as an additional layer of protection while enjoying a day at the beach.
She said the project will be deployed once more from mid-December for the peak of the festive season.
The Identikidz project allows children to be tagged on arrival at the beach with a band containing the child’s caregiver’s details.
This is done in the event that a child gets separated from their family, responders can use the contact information from the band to reunite them.
The project is managed by the social development (SD) and early childhood development (ECD) departments and rolled out at Cape Town’s busiest beaches as determined by the Disaster Risk Management Centre.
Van der Ross said that more than 120,000 children were tagged last festive season; adding that Strand and Mnandi had the highest figures.
She said the statistics were proof tht Identikidz project added value, and that more and more parents and caregivers were taking their children’s safety seriously when out and about over the festive period
“As we prepare to launch this year’s instalment, I want to encourage families to make use of the service, for added peace of mind. It is however important to remind everyone that they are ultimately still responsible for their children,” van der Ross said.
“While many children are quickly reunited, we have had instances where, by nightfall, children are handed over to social workers. In such cases, the situation does escalate, and will include numerous home visits to ensure that the child’s overall circumstances are acceptable,” she said.
“So, please parents, do your bit – we understand that sometimes children wander off in the crowds, but it’s unacceptable that some are still unclaimed hours later, when the beach day has ended.”
The project will run over the following periods:
· 15 – 17 December
· 23 – 26 December
· 30 – 31 December
· 1 January
· 6 – 7 January
· 13 – 14 January
· 20 – 21 January
Participating beaches include Big Bay, Camps Bay, Fish Hoek, Gordon’s Bay, Harmony Park, Lagoon Beach, Melkbosstrand, Milnerton Beach, Mnandi, Monwabisi, Muizenberg, Sea Point and surrounding area, Silwerstroom, Strand and Strandfontein.
On December 26 and January 1 , 2024, Identikidz will also be available at Maidens Cove.
How does it work?
A registration kiosk, manned by an SD and ECD staff member and temporary staff members employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), is situated at the main entrance to the beach.
Staff also roam the beach, encouraging parents to make their way to the registration desk if they have not done so already.
Each child that is registered receives a waterproof wristband containing a unique number. That number is recorded next to the details of the children (their caregiver’s name, address and contact number) on a registration sheet.
If a child’s family cannot be contacted via phone, a broadcast is done via the beach loudhailers.
If by the end of the Identikidz shift, the child has still not been claimed, social workers from the provincial department of social development are activated to complete track and trace of parents/ primary caregivers.