The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has sought to explain their reasons behind heading to court to stop the closure of beaches, saying people are at a lower risk of contracting the virus when complying with social distancing regulations in open spaces.
This after government imposed further restrictions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The DA is due at the High Court in Cape Town tomorrow – to request that beaches on the Garden Route be reopened amid the festive season.
DA provincial leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, has reiterated concerns over the future economic state of the region, saying residents and businesses are going to experience dire financial difficulties.
“It makes absolutely no sense to be closing the beaches. You will not stop the gathering completely because what we saw during the first wave was more cases in Level 5 lockdown because of the failure of government to enforce the regulations. If you close the beaches you will force people to gather in closed doors, which is even more dangerous as government is unable to enforce regulations.”
“The most important thing for us to do is to strike the balance between saving lives and livelihoods and make sure that we enforce the regulations but encourage people to be in open spaces than in closed spaces.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the Garden Route and Sarah Baartman districts coronavirus hotspots during his address on Monday.
Here are some of the measures the President announced on Monday:
- The Garden Route & Sarah Bartmaan district municipalities join Nelson Mandela Bay as COVID-19 hotspots
- All drivers of public transport must ensure passengers wear masks
- All gatherings (including religious gatherings) must not exceed a capacity of 100 people indoors and 250 outdoors
- Beaches & public parks:
- Eastern Cape: All closed
- Western Cape: Only Garden Route
- KwaZulu-Natal: all closed on 16, 25 and 26 December as well as 1, 2 and 3 January
- No parties or festivals at beaches, no New Year’s Eve parties
- Curfew hours extended from 11pm to 4am
- Non-essential establishments including restaurants & bars must close at 10pm
- Sale of Alcohol restricted to 10am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday only
- Alcohol consumption at all beaches & parks strictly prohibited
The President added that all of the above will be reviewed in early January 2021 under the National State of Disaster.
On Reconciliation day beaches in the hotspots were closed.
Police were deployed to ensure compliance: