It’s rare that I am able to commend the municipality for something, but this week I want to give a special tip of the hat to community protection services deputy director Fanie Fouche.
Yet more evidence that our public drinking problem is not limited to “once a year”, but is a pervasive, malignant tumour spreading through the year, on Tuesday there was a big drinking party at the Kelly’s Beach parking lot and on the wooden deck overlooking the beach.
What makes people disregard the law against drinking alcohol in public, and think nothing of tossing their empties all over the place? I’ve asked this question repeatedly over the years.
It is especially vile when it happens at the beachfront in front of other people are just trying to enjoy a day at the beach, sunbathing, swimming, surfing or taking a walk.
And it is never a case of the revellers “just enjoying themselves”, putting their empties back in their cooler or courteously disposing of them in a bin. They always make it unpleasant for everyone else, whether it is through the rowdiness that comes from consuming too much liquor or the cans and glass left scattered on the sand, in the dune vegetation and around the parking lot.
But this latest booze-up at Kelly’s – there have been many – actually drew action from the municipality in the form of Fouche.
A member of the public alerted TotT to the scene and related what transpired. He said Fouche bravely approached the group of boozers alone – already a risk – and asked them politely to stop drinking. They heeded him, and while they waited for their transport, they stashed their drinks in the rubbish bin.
Municipal spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa confirmed the incident, saying: “We got the information from municipal staff that there were people who were drinking heavily on the viewing deck. Mr Fouche got involved and asked the people to vacate the place with their stuff, which they did.”
For those who don’t know, I’m sure Kelly’s Beach has a special place in Fouche’s heart as it was the first of Ndlambe’s beaches to be awarded a Blue Flag many years ago – and as then environmental officer, he had a part in that. I don’t know if such law-breaking behaviour puts the Blue Flag status in jeopardy, but it most certainly is a blight.
So well done to you, Fanie Fouche, for using your municipal authority to do the right thing. Residents have been appealing for such action for a long time. Hopefully this will lead to consistent action in future.
– Jon Houzet