More safety measures proposed for West Beach
THERE was a poor turnout for Ndlambe Municipality’s public participation meeting at the Memorial Hall on Monday about proposals regarding operations over the 2018/2019 festive season.
Despite putting out a public notice inviting the community to attend, which was published in the media, and attempts that were made to invite all the relevant stakeholders, the number of people that actually showed up was very small compared to what was expected.
Community protection services deputy director Fanie Fouche gave an overview of what safety measures were put in place last year to ensure community safety at Ndlambe beaches. He also stated the problems that they face each year.
“Every year community protection services works tirelessly to ensure the safety of the people,” Fouche said.
“The SAPS recently came up with an idea to put in name tags on the wrists of children, to curb the number of missing children at beaches during the festive season. Traffic and SAPS also help with their zero tolerance to drinking and driving. Beach Buddies is also the cleaning team that is playing a huge role in making sure that our beaches are clean after the festive season,” he said.
“Kariega Main Beach brings us more challenges each year – we are facing overflow. West Beach is another problem. Despite signage people are going there to swim – something needs to be done about that, because that increases the number of people drowning in that area,”Fouche said.
Ward 9 councillor Mbuleli Njibana proposed that more signage need to be put in place at West Beach, and he also pleaded with the municipality to perhaps hire lifeguards for the no-swimming beach, because despite warnings that are given out for people not to swim they swim anyway, and that has increased the number of incidents that have occurred at West Beach.
“Even if we warn people not to swim, they will go and swim it happens every year,” Njibana said. “We need more marshals or a lifeguard to stop this drowning. Another thing we need to build a relationship with Makana Municipality because their people come here in numbers.”
The hiring of lifeguards at West Beach was opposed during the meeting, because it was stated that it would give people the wrong idea that it is okay for them to swim there. Towards the end of the meeting a campaign was proposed where people could be educated about West Beach, and the dangers of swimming there. Radio, press and social media platforms will be used to get through to people, and community visits will also be conducted to educate people. Makana Municipality will also be included in the campaign.
Ward 10 councillor Raymond Schenk confirmed that another meeting would be held, and all members of the public are invited because they need to understand the importance of the festive season plan. Street vendors, people in the liquor industry and all relevant stakeholders are encouraged to attend.
“Doors are not closed, nothing is finalised yet as we were expecting more people to attend. Another meeting will be held, we need to finalise the education campaign before the festive season begins,” Schenk said.