The City of Cape Town released a statement about the steps that have been taken to make sure that people can enjoy recreational facilities safely over the New Year’s weekend.
The main goal is to ensure a good time for all, with the understanding that it requires a collective effort and that visitors should follow safety regulations.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross, said:
“Between the resources we have in place at our recreational facilities and the universal safety rules, it is possible that everyone can return home after a day in the sun with nothing but a tan and good memories. So I implore our visitors once more: Take accountability for your personal safety; listen to the instructions of lifeguards and other officials; have your child tagged with our Identikidz project; and keep an eye on everyone in your group.”
There have been five fatal drownings along the City’s coastline since 1 December 2022; eight non-fatal drownings; and one non-fatal drowning at a City swimming pool.
Among the contributing factors are:
- Swimming outside of the designated bathing areas and outside of the hours that lifeguards are on duty
- Getting caught in rip currents outside of the designated bathing areas
- Impaired judgement
“It bears repeating that our visitors should only swim where there are lifeguards on duty and between the flags set up on the beach. Please leave the alcohol at home, as this impairs your judgement and could have dire consequences. It also mars the experience of those around you, particularly where drinking is accompanied by anti-social behaviour. I also want to appeal to parents to make sure their children are always visible and under the supervision of a responsible adult,” added Councillor Van der Ross.
The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department will be present at 16 beaches over the coming long weekend.
Since the Identikidz project launched in mid-December, staff have tagged 53,766 children at participating beaches and have reunited 120 who were separated from their families.
Five children who had not yet been reunited by nightfall were placed in the care of the Department of Social Development.
Parents are encouraged to use the service. Their contact information is written down, and their child is given a waterproof wristband with a unique number that can be matched to their parent’s contact information if the child gets lost on the beach.
Picture: City of Cape Town