Capetonians have taken to various beaches in the Metro today to swim and surf after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of some of the Level 3 lockdown regulations last night. Surfers and beachgoers at Muizenberg in the South Peninsula have expressed their joy at being allowed to enjoy these facilities again.
Some people say the December holidays were frustrating as families could not go to the beach as part of the traditional New Year celebrations along the coast. Many say the restrictions on visiting beaches and parks were particularly hard on children over the school holiday period.
“It has been a very frustrating time for us to be at home all the time. Yes, we have a lot of activities at home, but being out in the open is so much nicer and the children enjoy it so much, being out on the beach is something different,” says one of the beachgoers, Sylvia Prezens.
Surfer, Devon Comcar, says it is good to be back in the ocean again.
“It is the first time since the ban was implemented in December and the conditions are really good today. It’s a great day for them to have lifted the ban because people were able to get out and take in this activity in the water, that’s good for both your mental and physical health. It’s just really great to be back.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the easing of lockdown regulations:
Surfing instructor Shaun Solomons says they have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
“It has had a big hit on our kids because I started seeing them going back to the corners, gambling with the dices and things like that and those are the kind of things I want to keep them away from because I come from a background like that myself.”
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has also welcomed the lifting of the ban on beaches and alcohol sales as well as the shortening of the curfew hours. Winde has, however, appealed to citizens to act responsibly at all times.
“For me, the best is that we are getting or moving forward with that balance between lives and livelihoods. It’s always got to be about that balance. Of course, what we asked for was opening up our beaches and public spaces, we pushed for the curfew of 11pm, the alcohol sales to be open again, specifically the impact on our wine farms and the jobs.”
Winde says everybody should play a role in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus.