Over the next four weeks, a series of public hearings will be held across the Mother City to give residents interested in the new draft by-law relating to protecting Cape Town’s beaches a chance to have their say.
According to IOL, the eight hearings will give residents an opportunity to discuss the protection and open access of local beaches.
The proposed by-law will address poaching, illegal fishing, and the harvesting and removal of vegetation, sand, pebbles, rocks, shells, and kelp.
If passed, the by-law could well make our beaches cleaner, more secure, litter-free, and safe for marine life to flourish without the risk of being poached. The public’s right to access and enjoy our beaches and sea will also be ensured if the by-law is passed.
The by-law will also address hawking or business operations that are unauthorised, and the prevention of private properties extending onto beaches. These matters will be punishable by fines and contraventions if the by-law is instated.
Mayco member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, told IOL, “One of the most important aspects of the proposed by-law is that it will give the city the legislative powers to enforce the public’s right to access to the coast.
“Some residents are claiming the beaches or parcels of land in front of their properties as their own private areas by either extending their homes or gardens or putting up signs with ‘no-access’ messages.
“Our coastline belongs to all South Africans, and the by-law will be used to entrench this right.”
If you are interested in attending a hearing, the dates can be found here. The draft by-law will be accessible until September 2,.
The hearings will be held in Blaauwberg, Milnerton, Fish Hoek, the City Centre, Mitchells Plain, Macassar, Khayelitsha, and Strand.