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Festive season safety a priority for Cape Town
Monday, 22 November 2010
With thousands of local and international tourists expected to flock to Cape Town over the festive season, various city departments will work together to ensure that all will have a safe and enjoyable time in the city.

Every year the city council compiles a comprehensive festive season action plan, in which it addresses the service delivery challenges that come with the increased number of people, leisure activities and events in the city between November and February.

Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, says this year’s plan especially focuses on safety on beaches and at public pools. “As most beach accidents are alcohol related, our law enforcement agencies will go the extra mile this summer to prevent alcohol use on beaches,” he says. Focus will also fall on highly visible policing; combating general crime as well as alcohol and drug-related offences; targeting drunk drivers through roadblocks; checking the roadworthiness of vehicles; keeping the city clean; and providing adequate emergency services across the city.

This year’s plan involves:

• Disaster risk management:
Staff of the Disaster Risk Management Centre and volunteers will be deployed at beaches and public pools to support lifeguard services. Disaster Risk Management teams will co-ordinate major incidents and a dedicated hotline has been established to deal with complaints and enquiries at Tel: (021) 597-6003.

• Law Enforcement, Metro Police and Traffic Services:
A total of 1 319 members from the Metro Police, Traffic Services, Law Enforcement and Specialised Services will be deployed. Metro Police will increase their patrols around ATMs. Focus will be on consumption and possession of liquor on beaches; drunk driving; unroadworthy vehicles and unlicensed drivers. Traffic Services will conduct free basic vehicle safety checks.

• Fire and Rescue Services:
Some 116 firefighters contracted for the 2010 Fifa World Cup have been permanently employed and have boosted the city’s firefighters to a total of 836. All will be on duty and/or on standby 24 hours a day at 29 fire stations across the city. In addition, 20 learner firefighters and 120 seasonal staff will also be deployed at fire stations by mid-December.

• Health Services:
City clinics will function as normal over the festive season. The city’s Environmental Health Department and Scientific Services will monitor the quality of drinking water, recreational water, food premises, accommodation establishments, public ablution facilities and special events.

• Cleaning services:
R19 million has been budgeted for cleaning services during the festive season. Refuse removal will continue uninterrupted (including public holidays). More than 900 additional cleaning staff will be appointed to do additional cleaning in business districts, scenic routes and beaches.

• Sport, recreation and amenities:
About 250 trained and accredited lifeguards will be on duty at beaches between 10h00 and 18h00 daily. This is in addition to private lifesaving clubs on some beaches, Lifesaving Western Province’s volunteer services, the National Sea Rescue Institute and Medic helicopter. The city has invested in new life-saving equipment, including additional rubber ducks, life-saving boats, torpedo buoys and jet-skis.
Some 284 lifeguards will be on duty at 37 public pools, which will be open between 10h00 and 17h00 daily, except for Blue Downs, Long Street, Strand and Sea Point swimming pool, which will be open from 07h00 to 19h00 daily. Public amenities at beaches and swimming pools will be checked regularly to ensure they are clean and in working order.
A total of 21 shark spotters will be deployed at Glencairn, Clovelly, Muizenberg Corner, Fish Hoek, St James, Kalk Bay and Noordhoek.

• Report any emergency (including medical, crime, fire and traffic) to the 107 emergency number from a Telkom line. Cellphone users must dial
(021) 480-7700.

Hilka Birns

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