MEDIA STATEMENT: GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY
31 December 2020
ACTIONS TO STOP CORONAVIRUS FROM SPREADING IN THE GARDEN ROUTE
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and various local municipalities in the district are continuously working together to comply and adhere to the latest regulations.
As the GRDM, we remind the public that we are aiming and committed to combat the spread of the coronavirus. All Executive Mayors, Municipal Managers, senior management, sector departments, including the Department of Health, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other law enforcement agencies, led by the GRDM Coronavirus Command Centre are continually in discussions seeking co-operation strategies and ways to slow down and curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Local Municipalities’ Law Enforcement Officers will continue to enforce municipal by-laws strictly, while the SAPS and security agencies will enforce their mandate concerning the application of the COVID-19 Disaster Management Regulations.
Garden Routers and visitors are reminded that non-compliance to the latest regulations makes such actions punishable by law or a criminal offence. In addition, it is now a punishable offence if an individual does not correctly wear a face mask in public or adhere to the curfew rules.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed to areas of the Garden Route from Wednesday, 06 January 2021, to assist law enforcement officers with Covid-19 compliance and awareness.
Residents and visitors must note that the local municipalities and SAPS agreed that fishing at beaches is only permitted with an approved permit. Further consultation with the various legal departments is ongoing. Any developments in this regard will be communicated to the public, if necessary.
However, deep-sea fishing is allowed.
No person is allowed to walk, jog or practice any other activity on any of the beaches in the Garden Route. However, where there are lawns along the beaches, people are allowed on the grass, although they are not allowed to enter the sandy parts of a beach between the grass and water.
The respective parking areas at beaches will still be accessible to the public, and at controlled beach parking areas, the law enforcement staff will advise visitors that swimming is prohibited and that no alcohol is allowed on the beaches and/or public spaces.
EVENING CLOCK RULE / CURFEW
Everyone must pay close attention to the curfew rule and adhere to it – it is a criminal offence to disregard the curfew. The only exceptions apply to emergency services personnel and those who need help for medical reasons or security issues.
Holidaymakers returning home should plan their trips timeously, as no law enforcement agency can issue permits for those who would like to drive to their destinations throughout the night.
Lifeguards will continue to be deployed, including at the traditional Blue Flag beaches – the latter for the duration of the traditional overnight concession to ensure that the public is advised about the beach ban. Overnight camping is allowed from 31 December 2020 to 3 January 2021, although the beach area remains prohibited. This ban will be strictly be enforced while security personnel will ensure that the ban on alcohol consumption on beaches and premises are complied with.
No alcoholic beverages are allowed on site. Swimming in rivers is prohibited.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
SAPS have confirmed that additional staff will be deployed to ensure law enforcement.
Municipal law enforcers will hold various roadblocks to ensure compliance with the municipal by-laws and road traffic law.
The public are kindly warned that the principle of zero tolerance will be followed and that strict action will be taken against those ignoring the regulations. The Garden Route Disaster Centre and the joint law enforcement initiative are requesting residents of the Garden Route for their cooperation so that drunk driving and violations of the regulations are prevented.
Fireworks have become a traditional way of ushering into the New Year. However, with the country under Lockdown Level 3, people will be forced to do things differently this time around.
Fireworks are strictly prohibited. The GRDM Disaster Management Centre would like to call on the public to be considerate to animals when setting off fireworks. The local municipalities’ Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management Services already deployed personnel to strategic locations to prevent possible veldt and other fires due to illegal fireworks. The public’s cooperation in this regard is appreciated – let’s all work together to prevent others from setting off fireworks in the district.
Instead, residents are encouraged to light a candle in memory of those who have lost their lives and in tribute to those who are on the frontline working to save our lives and protect us from harm.
Enjoy the last hours of 2020 and have a prosperous 2021!