South Africa has officially entered a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Amid the rise in cases and the fast-approaching festive season, the City of Cape Town has released their Preparedness Plan to help manage risks.

The plan involves a few key interventions, such as increasing police deployment, clamping down on alcohol abuse and increasing monitoring to ensure establishments are complying with regulations.

According to the Preparedness plan, 2260 operational members from the Metro Police, Traffic Services and Law Enforcement will be deployed during this period. They will be out in large numbers on days like New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Speaking during a briefing while addressing the preparedness plan on Tuesday [December 8], Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith said that these officers will require people to be off the streets when curfew strikes at 12.

Alcohol is a big concern over the festive season, particularly drinking and driving and also consuming alcohol on beaches and other public spaces. The City’s Liquor Unit confiscated nearly 20 000 bottles (11 535,63 litres) of alcohol during the last summer season.

Since the resumption of alcohol sales in terms of the disaster regulations, the City’s enforcement services have seen a steady increase in alcohol related arrests on the roads.

“We’ve mentioned before that alcohol-related trauma places an unnecessary burden on the health system, particularly now that we are needing those resources to combat the COVID-19 resurgence. It also places pressure on our limited enforcement resources who are stretched at the best of times,” said Alderman JP Smith.

“Add to this the enforcement of ongoing land invasion attempts, and it becomes clear that our staff and their fellow enforcement services are being put through the wringer. My appeal to the public is to stay on the side of right this festive season, and be part of the solution.”

Various City departments will also continue participating in multi-agency compliance visits of establishments around the metropole, particularly restaurants, bars and pubs.

Smith said that the City will be visiting at least three alcohol outlets per day to ensure they are fully complying with the Disaster Management Regulations, to help limit the amount of alcohol-related traumas.

A compliance hotline has been set up where the public can report outbreak events or non-compliance by establishments. The number to call is 021 444 3582.

Another priority for the City is water safety, with the deployment of 340 seasonal beach lifeguards and 300 seasonal swimming pool lifeguards around the metropole.

In addition, the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department will spearhead the Identikidz programme once more, with deployment at 16 beaches on priority days over the peak festive season.

“This season, swimming pools are operating at reduced capacity, in line with COVID-19 protocols. We remind the public to be mindful of this, and to cooperate with staff while queueing at our facilities, or while enjoying the amenities. At the beach, too, please keep your distance and wear your mask when you’re not swimming,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

An outline of the plan is available here:

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