The City of Cape Town says it has reached an out of court settlement with Police Minister Bheki Cele regarding the filming of a commercial at Camps Bay Beach.

Production was stopped by Cele on Wednesday and by police yesterday due to the alleged non-compliance with COVID-19 regulations.

The production company has a valid permit from the City of Cape Town. Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith says the filming of the commercial may now proceed.

He says police have agreed not to halt the video shoot.

The City of Cape Town planned to take Cele to the High Court

The City of Cape Town planned to approach the High Court on an urgent basis for an interdict against the South African Police Service for interfering in the work of the film crew.  

JP Smith said that Minister Cele instructed over 30 police officers to close down a film production at the beach even though they had the necessary permit.  

Cele visited various beaches in Cape Town to inspect adherence to lockdown regulations. 

Reckless behaviour

Cele expressed concern over South Africans not adhering to safety regulations to stem the spread of the virus. He says he’s noted with concern reckless behaviour exhibited by some bathers.  

Cape Town beaches are permitted to open from 6am until 6pm under the recently revised regulations. Only the beaches along the Garden Route have been closed. Cele says he will use his observations to make his contributions to the National Coronavirus Command Council.

On the first public holiday on December 16 since the announcement of stricter measures by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Cele led a walkabout to inspect compliance with COVID19 regulations on beaches in Cape Town. 

Kouga Municipality to challenge closure of beaches in court

Meanwhile, the Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape is going to turn to the courts to have the ban on the closure of beaches overturned. Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape is synonymous with Supertubes, one of the best surfing waves in the world. But nobody may ride any waves as the ban on beaches is in effect.

It is a devastating blow for this town, heavily reliant on its coastal splendour to drive its economy.

Jefferys Bay is a sought after destination over the December period but now its crown jewel is off-limits.

The pristine sands and blue waters draw tourists, keeping the economy turning. Now that economy is taking a hit. The festive season and the money it brings in to a town like Jeffreys Bay is vital as it is still trying to overcome the effects of the hard lockdown. Kouga Municipality Mayor Horatio Hendricks says if the beaches remain closed, the economic impact will be devastating.

“The COVID-19 curve has not spiked significantly in the last three weeks which is an encouraging sign and supported by a high level of recoveries, on the other hand, the festive season is the last lifeline for may employers and employees who have suffered great losses during the last nine months of the lockdown. We, therefore, believe a more nuanced approach to the approach to the closure of beaches as is the case for the remainder of SA will be a more effective and humane way of saving livelihoods,” says Hendricks.