Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal say they are satisfied with the response from the public in adhering to lockdown regulations by not flocking the beaches on Wednesday being a public holiday. All beaches in the province were closed on this day as per the President’s pronouncement.  

Authorities conducted walkabouts at various beaches in Durban to monitor compliance.

Each year on 16 December, the Day of Reconciliation, thousands of locals and holiday-makers usually flock to the Durban beaches to celebrate this day.

But this time around, Durban has experienced an unusual sight for a public holiday as COVID-19 has put the brakes on the fun.

One of the tourists visiting Durban says although they cannot swim on this day, she still appreciates the treatment she has received from locals.

“It is wonderful in Durban. We are very happy here and we would like to stay longer.”

Johannesburg resident, Frances Edmons, who is spending this day in Durban says he is amazed by the public’s response in respecting the regulations.

“I think it’s lovely that they have taken their time and travel on a holiday to come out and make sure that everybody is safe on a promenade. It’s very important to all of us that we do that to defeat this disease. We need to do what we are  supposed to do.”

Compliance with regulations

Provincial MEC for Community Safety, Bheki Ntuli, who conducted a walkabout at some Durban beaches, says the public’s response in respecting the regulations pertaining to no swimming shows that the country can mitigate the spread.

“We are very happy that as the president has announced, people are respecting the call by the president and by the government, for us to curb the pandemic. Today, it’s not a normal day as you can see nobody is swimming and we also appreciate the fact that even if there is no swimming, people are able to enjoy holidays around the sea and they must enjoy the sea breeze.”

Ntuli says closing beaches was the best decision to curb the virus: 

Tourism Sector 

Meanwhile, the Mayor of the Ethekwini Municipality Mxolisi Kaunda says although swimming is prohibited at all KwaZulu-Natal beaches during certain days, the city’s tourism sector is still experiencing a high number of visitors.

“We are also happy that people continue to walk in the promenade and other facilities are open. It will also assist our informal traders although they are the ones that are hard-hit by this decision because they know they get their income by us coming to swim in the beaches.”

KwaZulu-Natal beaches will close again on the 25th, 26 and 31 December and again on the 1 to 3 January.

Closing of Eastern Cape, KZN beaches under the spotlight: