Attending illegal events have been commonplace for many Capetonians looking to have a good time and find a sense of “normalcy” amongst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown level 3 restrictions, however, have forced many nightclubs to shut down before 10 pm, prompting many to turn to illegal gatherings.
However, the City of Cape Town has recently revealed that they are increasing their efforts to clamp down on these illegal gatherings, with 49 illegally planned events identified in recent months, reports News24.
According to the COCT, several illegal events have been identified thanks to tip-offs and social media advertisements. Warning letters have been issued to a number of event organisers over the last months, with a few of them heeding the City’s warning and submitting applications for permits. Other organisers have simply cancelled their events.
A hefty fine will be issued if any of these events are identified, with some organisers being slapped with a hefty bill of R40 000.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, has stated that clamping down on these events is crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“It is especially important now when we want to recover from the pandemic to clamp down on these potential superspreader events who don’t comply with the regulations aimed at keeping patrons safe.
“Another problem with these illegal events is that because they happen under the cover of darkness, without recognised regulations measures, they are a breeding ground for other illegal activities, including drugs, violence and sexual assault,” he stated.
On September 8, a brave woman took to social media to share her harrowing account of a sexual assault incident that took place at one of these illegal Cape Town gatherings.