Ready for the Cape’s festive season

PICTURE: ROSS JANSEN

With the festive season almost upon us, the City of Cape Town is hard at work preparing for the holiday rush. Bolander spoke to Stuart Pringle, Ward 84 councillor and chairperson of Sub-council 24 to get insight into what plans the City has formulated.

“It’s all hands on deck as the City prepares to spend its overtime budget to ensure that the risks to residents and visitors to the Helderberg are mitigated this Festive Season via the coordination of various City services through the city wide coordination committee as well as local joint operations centres,” Mr Pringle said.

“City services such as traffic, Metro police and law enforcement, fire services and disaster risk management will be deployed to key functions and areas where the risks are most prevalent.

“Residents are requested to please contact the disaster management centre via 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone. 

“Unfortunately alcohol remains a contributor to the risks faced by residents and visitors to the area and over the first weekend in November over 700 litres of alcohol was confiscated on the Helderberg beaches and residents and visitors are requested to enjoy everything that the Helderberg has to offer but to please do
so responsibly, particularly by guarding against drinking and driving, or taking alcohol to the beaches.

“Helderberg has so much to offer and I do hope that visitors enjoy their time with us. Spare a thought for those who will be working hard to keep us safe over the festive season and please do make use of the emergency numbers should this be necessary.”

Mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, councillor JP Smith, put some numbers to theCity’s preparedness.

“We will be deploying 1 343 Metro police, traffic and law enforcement staff to ensure policing in priority areas, both autonomously, but also through joint operations with other role-players like SAPS,” Mr Smith said.

“Eight joint operations centres will operate across the metropole, and 334 lifeguards will be on duty at our beaches, and with shark spotters at eight beaches, including at Caves at Kogel Bay.

“We will be able to call on over 900 professional firefighters in the event of a major incident, as well as 120 seasonal firefighters, two helicopters and a spotter plane to assist with combatting wildfires.

“Disaster risk management and social development staff will be on duty at 14 beaches on priority days to run the Identikidz programme and 1 888 temporary workers have been retained to assist with beach/business area cleaning.

“This plan is our blueprint that we have developed and refined over a number of years.

“Even then, it is not static and can be amended to deal with any new challenges we might have to deal
with.

“The plan, in conjunction with regular meetings throughout the festive season involving all relevant City departments and external stakeholders from SAPS to the NSRI and the SPCA, is to ensure that we keep abreast of developments and are able to divert resources as and when necessary,” Mr Smith said.

“However, even the best laid plans come to naught without the buy-in of all concerned. “I therefore call on the public to please do their part by adhering to the law, following the instructions of enforcement and emergency staff; particularly lifeguards on the beaches or at the public swimming pools, and taking responsibility for their own safety where it is within their control.”