More than 2 000 litres of alcohol has been confiscated on beaches and at other public spaces in Cape Town since the beginning of December. Drinking in public is illegal and carries a heavy fine when caught. There are bylaws set with regards to public drinking. However, people are still caught for the public drinking offence.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security in Cape Town JP Smith says that this is because there are people who are not aware of the bylaws and those that are aware, but think that they can get away with breaking those laws.
For those who smuggle alcohol to beaches that seemingly look innocent, it is a challenge for law enforcement to spot them.
“The first indication that someone is consuming alcohol on the beach is when there is evidence in their behaviour of intoxication. Other than that, they might well pass without observation by law enforcement. Keep in mind that on these busy days, law enforcement has their hands full and contending with alcohol is one small part of it. You are dealing with lost children, you are making sure that pick-pockets and thieves don’t steal things from people on the beach. Otherwise, you are dealing with informal traders, you are dealing with near drownings and people getting into trouble in the water…it’s busy and hard work on the beach.”
For more, listen to audio below: