Role players lauded for successful Toti festive season

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge.

With an increase in beaches attendance and associated expenditure, Amanzimtoti can look back on an exceptionally successful festive season with the best inter-departmental co-operation and lowest number of serious incidents in years.

This is according to ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge.

From 8 December to 8 January, eThekwini Municipality accumulated the following statistics in relation to beaches stretching from Reunion to Umkomaas which were in turn overlayed with the 2015/16 festive season statistics:

  • 2016 law enforcement:
    Warnings issued – 7,566;
    charges – 344;
    arrests – 22,
    compared to 2015’s 6,597 warnings issued; 180 charges and 11 arrests.
  • 2016 aquatic safety:
    Rescues – 205;
    first aid – 464;
    drownings – 3;
    hospital – 18,
    compared to last year’s 156 rescues; 1,355 first aid: 1355; three drownings; and six hospital.
  • 2016 Litter bags collected – 112,392 compared to 2015’s 79,023.
  • 2016 beach attendance:
    Bathers – 430,957; on beach: 1 250,926; at night: 327,970
    compared to last year’s 382,249 bathers; 1 199,647 on beach; and 161,500 at night.
  • 2016 separated children:
    Through tent – 737;
    overnight – 15;
    lost – 0;
    arm bands issued – 37,830.

“Due to renovations at Umgababa Beach where an Olympic size heated pool is being installed, the annual beach festival did not take place but instead a much smaller event was successfully hosted at Umnini dam that lasted throughout the night into 2 January,” said Cllr Beetge.

“An 11.30am site visit on 2 January confirmed the site had been cleaned and besides marquee tents, the area was ready for normal daytime operation.”

The wastewater department experienced less problems than in the past and no beaches required closure and no activities were marred by any spillages.

Flow was considerably reduced from both the Prospecton and Southgate industrial areas, thereby allowing resources to be concentrated towards residential areas.

“While the increased domestic flow resulted in a few minor blockages in the Amanzimtoti and Kingsburgh areas, no rising main bursts or gravity mains had to be repaired.”

Despite two two-day strikes, Durban Solid Waste (DSW) was able to maintain its litter clearing and domestic collection plan for the duration of the festive season which included numerous public holidays.

“Management promptly responded to requests of what appeared to be collection oversights,” said Cllr Beetge. “In most cases it related to residents who were late in setting out their bags or who moved their bags to alternative locations as a result of the industrial action.

Still awaiting official statistics, the SAPS experienced the expected festive season challenges in relation to shoplifting, theft from motor vehicles and other opportunistic crimes – often due to negligence and/or people refraining from taking preventative measures.

Amanzimtoti station commander, Bonginkosi Nkabinde has, however expressed appreciation and lauded the efforts of the private sector largely represented by CCPO, ET Rapid Response, ER24, Netcare 911, as well as Metro Police, law enforcement, Fire Department and other emergency services for their excellent contribution and participation during this period,” said Cllr Beetge.

Metro Police patrol vehicles were constantly observed but co-ordination and management approaches ensured no road closure traffic management was required. Problematic beach parking areas were closely monitored and cleared at a reasonable hour.

“We express our gratitude and appreciation to municipal staff who were very committed in their attempts to satisfy everyone’s expectation,” said Cllr Beetge.

“On some days, staff started their shifts at 5am. Given transport challenges on public holidays, it meant some staff members probably started their journey from home at 4am to have beaches, parking areas and streets cleaned by 8am.

I can personally attest to law enforcement officers and beach management working 16-hour shifts in their efforts to render beaches safe or re-unite children with their families before going home.

Thanks to every individual – whether an employer, employee, official, business person or resident – who remained tolerant and committed towards a successful 2016 festive season programme, thereby ensuring Amanzimtoti remains the affordable destination of choice for so many.”
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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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